RedWhite Apparel, a long distance cycling bib shorts company, has been awarded US$18,000 (S$25,000) to assist in its plan to go global.
The cash comes from FedEx Express which chose RedWhite Apparel as the Singapore winner of its first FedEx Small Business Grant Contest in Asia Pacific.
RedWhite Apparel was launched in 2014 by Amreet Singh and Yuvaraman Viswanathan whose passion is cycling ultra-distances of 200km or longer. Frustrated by bib shorts that were uncomfortable and didn’t provide adequate support, they set out to make their own high-performance but affordable long-distance bib shorts for modern cyclists.
Going global has been RedWhite Apparel’s goal since the company was launched, and it already has a presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan. The founders plan to use the grant to help secure wider distribution and expand into Australia, Europe and US.
The Hong Kong award went to B-Free Technology, a local technology innovator, which received US$20,000 (HK$150,000). 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 came up with the award-winning B-Free Chair to help the disabled to navigate stairs and regain mobility. The grant from FedEx will allow the company to further research and develop its next-generation wheelchair, the B-Free Ranger, and expand into the European market.
“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 per cent 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 Grand 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.”