FedEx Announces Winners of Inaugural Small Business Grant Contest in Hong Kong
HONG KONG, December 1, 2015 — FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, today unveiled the winners of its first FedEx Small Business Grant Contest in Hong Kong.
B-Free Technology Ltd., a local technology innovator, was awarded the grand prize, receiving HK$150,000 in financial grants from FedEx to assist in its plan to go global. After hearing about a disabled youngster who had been confined to his home for eight years as he could not negotiate the five stairs at the lobby of his building, the company founder decided to come up with the award-winning B-Free Chair to help the disabled overcome stairs and regain mobility. The grants offered by FedEx will allow the company to further research and develop its next generation wheelchair, the B-Free Ranger and expand its product to Europe.
The first runner-up, ETEAQ, an environmentalist business that brings together tree planting, tree tracking and reclaimed wood mobile device accessories, was awarded a grant of HK$50,000. The second runner-up prize, worth HK$30,000, was awarded to Bennu Solar Ltd., a solar solutions provider that creates cleaner and more sustainable energy for developing countries.
“SMEs account for 98 percent of all businesses in Asia Pacific and are a vital part of the regional economy. However, according to a recent FedEx study, only 36 percent of APAC SMEs are exporting despite there being a great opportunity to sell to markets beyond their own borders,” said Karen Reddington, president, FedEx Express, Asia Pacific. “Through the Small Business Grant Contest, FedEx aims to support small businesses looking to branch out into new markets and help them fulfill their global aspirations. Both in Hong Kong and Singapore, we were highly impressed by the quality of entries we received. The contest serves as a showcase for the dynamism, innovation and creativity of the SME community in both markets and we hope it will inspire the wider business community and budding entrepreneurs.”
The contest was open to for-profit small businesses with less than 100 employees for manufacturing enterprises or less than 50 employees for non-manufacturing enterprises, which had been operating for six months or more, among others. In October, eligible SMEs were first required to register online and outline their business plans to go global. Selected finalists were then asked to present a live pitch in November.
First rolled out in the U.S. three years ago, the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest was held in three global markets for the first time, namely Brazil, Hong Kong and Singapore.
For more information about the FedEx Small Business Grants Contest in Hong Kong, visit fedex.com/grantcontest/hk.