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New DoorDash Program Aims to Elevate Diverse Small Businesses

DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods supports CPG businesses owned by entrepreneurs who are women, transgender, immigrants or people of color
DashMart
Photograph: Shutterstock

As part of its Main Street Strong initiative to support local communities, DoorDash has launched DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods, an educational program designed to uplift local CPG businesses owned by entrepreneurs who are women, transgender, immigrants or people of color.

Fifty local businesses from New York City, Chicago and the greater Washington, D.C., area will participate in the inaugural instructional program designed in partnership with Next Street, a mission-driven small business solutions firm. The program consists of a live and self-guided six-week course that covers six topics, including supply chain management, wholesale vendor relationship management, managing cash flow and business development.

Beyond the educational component, participants will receive a $5,000 grant to support their business needs; access to marketing and sales support from DoorDash; and the guarantee to sell their products via at least one DashMart location, a DoorDash-owned and operated grocery and convenience store.

“Local businesses generate a substantial amount of economic return for the communities they thrive within, while also creating notable job opportunities for residents,” said Tasia Hawkins, social impact program lead for San Francisco-based DoorDash. “By developing the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods, we are equipping aspiring entrepreneurs with the educational and financial capital to become wholesale-ready and create an even stronger relationship between local businesses and consumers residing in the community.”

DoorDash Chief Restaurant Adviser Chef Stephanie Izard, alongside Next Street, has been involved in the curation of the curriculum as the owner of This Little Goat, a packaged goods brand. “Before assuming the role of chief restaurant adviser, I partnered with DoorDash to offer my line of This Little Goat sauces and spices in many DashMart locations across the country,” Izard said. “This is a full-circle moment where I was able to help shape the curriculum for this inaugural cohort, especially as I’ve experienced the challenges of launching a packaged product firsthand, including creating a distribution plan and coordinating with manufacturers.” 

Merchants are eligible to apply for the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods if they are a registered and actively operating packaged food local business in New York City, Chicago or the greater Washington, D.C., area; if they have 20 or fewer employees; and if they have generated less than $1 million in revenue in fiscal 2021. They must also have been in business for at least two years.

Eligible businesses can apply for the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods through April 1

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