FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the world’s largest express transportation company, is helping support more than 400 women-led small businesses across Maharashtra with key resources to restart businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through this CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative, FedEx Express and nonprofit United Way Mumbai are identifying women who had previously operated a small business and are providing them the resources to help re-establish themselves. These women represent a wide range of businesses across sectors including home beauty services, tailoring and a variety of homemade products.
Providing these women with early support to help restart their businesses will be important in their long-term success.
A 2020 survey commissioned by the company on the effect of the pandemic on SMEs revealed that 63% of small businesses and 40% of medium businesses surveyed believed that it will take more than a year to completely recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Highlighting why local support at the grassroots level is so important, a report by Krea University stated that nearly half of the women-led enterprises that have closed during the pandemic may never open again. As these female entrepreneurs re-establish themselves, the growth of their small businesses within some of the most impacted communities in India may benefit not only the small business owners, but their raw material suppliers as well.
Mohamad Sayegh, vice president Operations for FedEx Express in India recently said, “FedEx is committed to driving Global Entrepreneurship as part of our global CSR initiatives. In India, we are providing advancement opportunities to women-owned small businesses by offering expanded access to tools and resources. Through the efforts of our team members and community partners, we are proud to create opportunities for these women-led small businesses.”
Last year, in response to the pandemic, FedEx Express donated critical medical supplies, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face masks to local healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Maharashtra.