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03/13/2022

DoorDash Launches Accelerator for Local Goods From Rising Entrepreneurs

50 NYC, Chicago, and greater D.C.-area businesses will participate in inaugural program
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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The DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods aims to empower 50 local entrepreneurs by providing them with key resources, education and funding to bring their local products to market for distribution via the DashMart concept.

DoorDash has introduced the latest in its Main Street Strong series of initiatives: the inaugural DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods, an educational program created to advance women-, trans-, immigrant- and people-of-color-owned local consumer packaged goods businesses. Through the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods, the company aims to empower 50 local entrepreneurs by providing them with key resources, education and funding to bring their local products to market for distribution via its DashMart concept.

The DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods offers a live, self-guided six-week course designed in partnership with Next Street, a mission-driven small-business solutions firm with offices in New York and Chicago. The course will address 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, along with marketing access and sales support from DoorDash, and the guarantee to sell their products at DashMart, a DoorDash-owned and -operated grocery and convenience store. First introduced in 2020, DashMart carries thousands of fresh groceries, household essentials, local items and more, delivered directly to consumers’ doors. Through DashMart, DoorDash already supports more than 400 local and regional producers across the country. 

“Local businesses generate a substantial amount of economic return for the communities they thrive within, while also creating notable job opportunities for residents,” explained Tasia Hawkins, social impact program lead at 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.”

At the end of the program, DoorDash will commit to purchasing entrepreneurs’ products to sell through at least one DashMart location as another way to help bring these local businesses to market and connect them with more customers. DoorDash Chief Restaurant Advisor Chef Stephanie Izard worked with Next Street to create the curriculum as the owner of This Little Goat, a sauce and spice 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 Izard. “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.”

Companies are eligible to apply for the DoorDash Accelerator for Local Goods program if they’re registered and actively operating local CPG businesses in New York City, Chicago, or the greater Washington, D.C., area; if they have 20 or fewer employees; if they generated less than $1 million in revenue in fiscal year 2021; and if they’ve been in business for at least two years. An active partnership with DoorDash isn’t required to participate in the program. The application period runs through April 1.

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