Mar 14, 2022 Merchant

DoorDash Announces Accelerator for Local Goods to Empower Aspiring Entrepreneurs

50 local businesses from New York City, Chicago, and the greater Washington DC area will participate in the inaugural instructional program designed in partnership with Next Street

Today, we announced our newest Main Street Strong initiative: the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods, an educational program designed to uplift local consumer packaged goods businesses owned by entrepreneurs who are women, transgender, immigrants, or people of color. Through the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods, DoorDash is empowering 50 entrepreneurs by giving them important resources, education, and funding to bring their local products to market for distribution via DashMart.

The DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods 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, brought to you by DoorDash offering customers thousands of fresh groceries, household essentials, local treats, and more — delivered right to their doorsteps. DashMart 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 from coast to coast.

“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. “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.”

At the end of the six-week curriculum, DoorDash will commit to purchasing products from participating entrepreneurs 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,” said Chef Stephanie Izard, Chief Restaurant Advisor at DoorDash. “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. We’re happy that DoorDash is creating the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods to help entrepreneurs and assist them in reaching their goals.”

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 DC 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 beginning today through Friday, April 1 and can learn more about the program by clicking here.