FedEx helps small businesses navigate the digital landscape
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses everywhere have found new hope and new customers through the rise of e-commerce. Now, as the world begins to reopen and rebuild, FedEx is on a mission to help these businesses make the most of the e-commerce landscape so their businesses can prosper like never before.
Since 2021, FedEx has been collaborating with the Accion Opportunity Fund (AOF) to introduce women and minority-owned businesses to the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab. The program focuses on providing hands-on learning, tools, coaching, and a business grant for small business owners who do not currently have an e-commerce presence. A second cohort of the Lab launched in May 2022 with a third cohort planned to launch in the Fall, funded by an additional $1M donation. The vast majority of these businesses are owned and operated by women and people of color, and upon graduating from the cohort, they will be ready to debut their newfound e-commerce knowledge.
Following the success of the program’s first cohort in 2021, FedEx is spotlighting the burgeoning success of two businesses to encourage more small business owners and their journey.
Gut Health and Sustainability: A Mission to Provide Healthy Snacks to Kids with Allergies
Once a mom doing her best to feed her family of five children, today Mary Molina is the founder of Lola Snacks, a certified woman-owned small business based in Salem, New York. She is on a mission to support gut health through simple, plant-based probiotic energy bars.
“I created Lola Snacks as a way to feed my family during a time when we were receiving food assistance,” Mary says. “I have an active family and I needed a healthy snack to get us through a long day, but food allergies left me with few options.”
Mary realized that nutritious snacks are often too expensive or unavailable to parents with lower incomes, especially for those with children who have food allergies. With these obstacles in mind, Mary grabbed what was on hand to create a snack that could offer her children the nutrients they needed to sustain their daily activities without sacrificing great taste. However, she did not stop there.
Since 2011, Lola Snacks has given back to local community food banks by donating their healthy energy bars to support local anti-hunger organizations. This year, the company has committed to a goal of producing net zero waste without buying wind or solar offsets. By using 100% post-consumer recycled paperboard and cardboard, reshipping used boxes, and reducing production and shipping waste, the company has successfully upheld this goal across all their daily operations.
Healing the Body and the Planet
In Mission Viejo, California, Nisreen El-ouri co-created Dolly Rose Wellness, helping members of her community build healthier lives while leaving less of an impact on the environment. Founded entirely by BIPOC women, the company offers aesthetics, yoga, meditation, and massages to the community, as well as sustainably, ethically produced products to customers all around the country, including beauty products and home accessories.
“Our sustainable health and beauty store was born from the desire to live in a more balanced world, without creating excess waste,” says Nisreen. “Since 2018, we have followed this belief, with each product designed to create a conscious consumption cycle that benefits everyone. We believe that change is only possible if everyone plays an active role in the choices they make as consumers.”
To learn more about the small businesses within the FedEx E-Commerce Learning Lab and to browse the products from the second cohort, visit the SOKONI Shop.