DHL launches contest for SMEs

by Inside Logistics Online Staff
Many small businesses need help with international e-commerce. (IStock – svetikd)

DHL Express has launched a program to help small and medium companies in Canada.

A grim forecast by The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which surveyed and found that one in six small
business owners are now contemplating shutting down.

DHL Express partnered with six small businesses to promote the importance of SMEs to the economy, and the benefits of cross-border e-commerce, creating a contest to award two companies each with $10,000 CAD worth of international shipping and $10,000 in wellness stipend.

“The pandemic has disrupted the way we all do business, but it has also generated a new spirit of creativity and perseverance in many small business owners who continue working hard for their business and their employees,” said Andrew Williams, CEO for DHL Express Canada.

“The lesson has been clear: in order to survive and thrive in the current economic downturn, businesses need an online strategy that includes a robust e-commerce plan with a strong cross-border component.”

80 percent are small

More than 80 percent of DHL Express’s Canadian customers are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. In the Americas, SME’s also represent more than 80 percent of active account customers for the company.

DHL Express reported a 40 percent growth in SMEs business in the last two years in Canada, and a significant B2C shipment volume increase of more than 35 percent in 2020 versus the year before, mostly due to the rapid growth of e-commerce, as more people started shopping online.

“All business can benefit from this trend, regardless of their size. The barrier to entering global markets is less than many entrepreneurs might think,” said Williams.

Global connectedness

In its recently published DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020, the first comprehensive assessment of globalization during the spreading Covid-19 pandemic, DHL found that stronger global connectedness could accelerate the world’s recovery from the pandemic, as countries that connect more to international flows tend to enjoy faster economic growth.

“By selling their products online, globally, SME’s can potentially diversify their businesses, pivot more easily in the face of rapid changes, and chart a course to recover from the damages due to Covid-19,” Williams said.

The DHL Handle with Care Small Business Contest is open to any active business based, registered and operating in Canada with no more than 100 employees on its payroll.

Six SMEs partnered with DHL Express for the contest to share their experience with other SMEs after they took their business global. They are Milk Jar Candle Co., a company from Calgary that creates an alternative to synthetic candles; YNOT, an SME focused on customizing products for travel; CDN, an apparel brand; LOHN, which creates essential oils and perfume blends; and Mary’s Brigadeiro, a Toronto-based chocolate business.

The wellness award to the SMEs winners also includes sessions with Raia ‘Coach’ Carey, DHL’s sixth partner and a certified life coach, who will guide the winning companies through programs to take care of their employees.