Black History Month celebrates Black culture and serves as a reminder of Black achievement while still acknowledging the work that is still left to be done. This month and throughout the year, we’re proud of the contributions Black Dashers, employees, merchants, and communities make as we work with them to craft programs that help all people reach their highest potential. Through our Entrepreneurship and Access programs, DoorDash is dreaming big alongside local Black-owned businesses.
Expanding Access for Black-owned Businesses
“Windy City Ribs & Whiskey is the destination spot for the community. We are known for selling great ribs and whiskey, but what we really provide is a great experience. It is a part of the restaurant’s DNA to create financial equity for myself and my employees. As a black business owner there is a certain weight that exists on my shoulders to ensure my staff can feed their families and create their own financial plan which depends on the growth of our business. Although I went to graduate school for business and have experience in corporate and entrepreneurial contexts, nothing prepares you for the restaurant industry. The Accelerator was unique and beneficial because it’s not just about business, it’s about the restaurant business. It also builds a bonded cohort of local business owners that can help each other take advantage of local resources specific to their markets. The Accelerator program provided the additional support needed to keep focused on the goal. It also reinforced that the success of supporting the restaurant industry and specifically the minority owned restaurants depends on all of us. It takes us all asking ourselves, ‘how can I support these places?’ and telling others to support as well.”
— Terri Evans, Owner of Windy City Ribs and Whiskey, Chicago
Member of the Main Street Strong Accelerator 2021 Cohort
Black-owned businesses face structural inequities that make it more difficult to access capital and create the networks and relationships that are essential for growth. DoorDash is committed to helping level the playing field for entrepreneurs and increase access to opportunity for small businesses owned by women, immigrants, and people of color. Our Entrepreneurship & Access programs in the U.S. and Canada connect systematically excluded business owners to resources like low-interest loans (in the U.S., we also match loans at 0% interest rate and no fees in partnership with Kiva!), free Restaurants Canada memberships, technical assistance, and education.
In 2021, we launched the Main Street Strong Accelerator in five cities across the United States. Together with the Accion Opportunity Fund, we constructed a seven-course curriculum that provides restaurant owners with immersive classes designed to help grow their businesses. Courses cover topics like marketing, access to capital, managing cash flow and menu creation. The course material is also available for free for any business owner no matter where they are located.
Now in its second year, we recently announced our newest cohort of 17 Boston-area restaurateurs who were selected as Main Street Strong Accelerator participants. They will be guided through the curriculum by local chefs and entrepreneurs, receive a $20,000 grant, one-on-one business coaching, and the opportunity to connect with other local restaurant owners. Since launching the Accelerator, 117 restaurateurs across the U.S. have participated. Last year, 38% of participants identified as Black or African American. This year, 70% identify as people of color, 47% are women, and 76% identify as immigrants or refugees.
Donating to Organizations Supporting the Black Community Through our Black@ Employee Resource Group
Throughout the month, our Black@ Employee Resource Group will be hosting a series of employee events focused on highlighting Black-owned merchants, building relationships, and growing personally and professionally. In collaboration with our Black@ ERG, DoorDash is making a $100,000 dollar donation to BCA Global, Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations that support Black communities across the U.S. and Canada.
This month and throughout the year, we invite you to order from a local Black-owned business in the U.S. or Canada. At DoorDash, we will continue to celebrate, support, and work to provide opportunities that spur growth for Black Dashers, employees, communities, and Black-owned businesses.