Jun 8, 2021 Community

Celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month

Heena Patel | Owner of Bersharam in San Francisco, CA

Our CEO and co-founder Tony Xu’s own immigrant experience was the inspiration for DoorDash. Tony’s family arrived in the U.S. from China and, while growing up, Tony helped wash dishes in the Chinese restaurant his mom ran. He started DoorDash to help grow and support businesses like his mom’s. In recognition of Immigrant Heritage Month this June, DoorDash is proud to honor immigrant and refugee merchants, Dashers, and communities, and celebrate the diversity that helps our local communities thrive.

We’re proud to announce that we are partnering with Kiva to match all loans to immigrant-owned businesses this month. These no-fee, 0% interest loans provide up to $15,000 to help local merchants meet payroll, buy kitchen equipment, and make other needed investments to grow. During Immigrant Heritage Month, we are expanding our loan matching to include global refugee owned businesses as well.

“Many financial institutions perceive refugees as too risky to lend to due to lack of credit history and presumed higher rates of default. Kiva has been working to change this narrative around refugees for years. To date, we’ve lent nearly $21 million to more than 23,800 displaced people globally at a proven 95% repayment rate. Refugees are hardworking, impactful contributors in their host communities and, by lending on Kiva, you can help them invest in equipment, hire more employees, and serve new and existing customers. We are grateful for DoorDash’s partnership in accelerating funding to these loans so immigrant and refugee-owned businesses can thrive and help America’s communities build back and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.” — Rohit G. Agarwal, Head of Kiva US

Our work with Kiva is one part of our efforts to address historical inequities faced by underrepresented entrepreneurs and expand access to capacity-building resources. All year round, DoorDash empowers immigrant and refugee merchants through our Kitchens Without Borders program. Kitchens Without Borders spotlights the stories of immigrant and refugee business owners, fostering deeper connections to the people making the food we enjoy every day, and connects participating merchants to resources such as marketing and mentorship.

DoorDash is also working to support local merchants with the Main Street Strong Accelerator, which provides a $20,000 grant and an eight-week training course to local restaurants. 47% of restaurants that participated in our first Accelerator are owned by immigrants, including El Taco in Philadelphia.

“It’s hard to express how huge of a decision it is to leave your country, but the United States is truly a land of opportunity, where many other countries are not. To be an immigrant in the USA with the chance of owning my own restaurant business is the dream for my wife and I, and we are very thankful that we have been able to achieve our dream.” — Alvaro and Edna Luna, El Taco, Philadelphia

DoorDash continues to advocate for merchants and Dashers on key issues at the national and local level, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Earlier this year, we called upon government officials to prioritize a path to citizenship for these young people. We’re also proud to partner with organizations advocating for immigrant and refugee rights like the Tent Partnership for Refugees and I Stand with Immigrants.

Jorge Santos, Dasher | Los Angeles, CA

Originally from Colombia, Jorge Santos shares his story on how his life has changed in just a few short years: “I’m a graphic designer by training and work as a Dasher allowed me to pursue my professional dreams in a new country. This year, my family and I will buy our first home in the United States, I’m creating a studio to support my career goals, and I signed with an agency where my voiceover talents are regularly used.”

Jeffrey Kyeremeh, Dasher | Midland, NC

Jeffrey Kyeremeh is originally from Ghana and shares how he’s living his American Dream: “Growing up as a kid, I always had the dream to go to America. We were always told America is the land of limitless opportunities. I had to make something good out of my life as I have access to several resources I wouldn’t have otherwise. One of my biggest achievements was buying my first home in 2018.”

DoorDash is proud to support immigrant and refugee merchants, Dashers, and communities this Immigrant Heritage Month and in the months and years to come.