DoorDash announced a new small business educational program under its Main Street Strong banner called the Accelerator for Local Goods that’s designed to benefit local consumer packaged goods businesses owned by women, immigrants, members of the trans community and people of color.
Through the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods, the delivery provider is empowering 50 local entrepreneurs by giving them resources, education, and funding to bring their local products to market for distribution via DashMart.
The program consists of a live and self-guided six-week course designed in partnership with Next Street, a mission-driven small business solutions firm, which will cover six specific 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 DashMart—a DoorDash-owned and operated grocery and convenience store.
First introduced in 2020, DashMart is a new type of neighborhood store that sells thousands of fresh groceries, household essentials, local treats, and more. It offers local businesses a new channel to reach customers, transforming how merchant partners can sell their products across the country. With DashMarts nationwide, DoorDash already supports over 400 local and regional producers in the United States.
“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 at DoorDash. “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.”
At the end of the six-week curriculum, DoorDash will commit to purchasing entrepreneur’s products to sell through at least one DashMart location as another way to help further bring these local businesses to market and connect them with more customers. DoorDash Chief Restaurant Advisor Chef Stephanie Izard, alongside Next Street, has been intimately 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 Advisor, I partnered with DoorDash to offer my line of This Little Goat sauces and spices in many DashMart locations across the country,” she 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.”
Ariel Barbouth, founder and CEO of Nuchas, said, “By partnering with DoorDash to sell our empanadas through DashMart, we’re able to reach new customers and diversify our revenue streams in an effective way.”
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 twenty or fewer employees, if they have generated less than $1M in revenue in fiscal year 2021, and they must have been in business for at least two years. An active partnership with DoorDash is not required or considered to participate in this program.
Eligible businesses can apply for the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods through Friday, April 1. More information about the program is available here.