Immigrant-owned businesses account for 20% of the participants in DoorDash's Accelerator for Local Goods program, and among the top product categories are sweet and salty snacks, grocery products, and nonalcoholic beverages.
Having debuted the Accelerator for Local Goods program in March to uplift local CPG businesses owned by diverse entrepreneurs, DoorDash has now introduced the inaugural cohort of business owners from Chicago, New York City, and the greater Washington D.C., area who have been selected to take part in the six-week program designed in partnership with small-business advisory firm Next Street to provide educational resources and funding for the participants to grow their businesses.
In this inaugural cohort, 77% of participants identify as female, 40% identify as Black or African American, 7% identify as Hispanic or Latino, and 21% identify Asian or Pacific Islander. Immigrant-owned businesses account for 20% of the participants, and among the top product categories are sweet and salty snacks, grocery products, and nonalcoholic beverages.
“While we were selecting the participants for the program, we were immediately blown away by the entrepreneurial spirit of all of the business owners,” noted Tasia Hawkins, social impact program lead at San Francisco-based DoorDash. “It was evident from the applications how much passion these inspiring entrepreneurs have for their businesses and community they operate within. We hope that the immersive educational programming and financial capital help these businesses quickly scale to the next level.”
The greater Chicago area-based businesses that will participate in the Accelerator are Sugar Bliss, Hoppy Planet Foods, Lorenzo’s Frozen Pudding, Signature Sweets Factory, Tubby’s Taste, Stellar Granola, Nemi Snacks, Chicago French Press, Laine’s Bake Shop and Herby PoP.
The New York entrepreneurs are DiLena Dolcini, Amasu, Milene Jardine Chocolatier, Call Me Caramel, Sofia and Grace Cookie Co., Best Damn Cookies, Nana Foods, Nourrir Drinks, Maluli’s Kitchen, Creme and Cocoa Creamery, Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop, Bo-yi, Thin Cookies, Balkan Bites, Brooklyn Bites, Jamie’s Farm, BKE Kombucha, Sol Cacao, Mix’t Snacks, Jessie’s Nutty Cups, Yum Actually, Candid and Chef Asia B.
The businesses from the greater Washington D.C., area are Everyday People Coffee and Tea, The Difference Baker, AppleCore’s Bake Shoppe, The Welle Made Co., Secretea, Retreat Foods, Zion Roar, Sweet Sage, and Reston Kabob.
The participants were selected based on their business story, ability to fully participate in the program from the first day to commencement, opportunity for growth and potential to overcome challenges with access to more resources, in addition to meeting the standard eligibility criteria.
The accelerator’s six-week programming is currently in session, with the first live discussion between participants having begun May 11. Topics are as follows:
Week 1: Strategic Planning for Entrepreneurs
Week 2: Marketing and Business Development
Week 3: Financial Management and Funding Options
Week 4: Working with Wholesalers (Part I)
Week 5: Working with Wholesalers (Part II)
Week 6: Commencement and Networking
As well as taking part in the education program, businesses will receive a $5,000 grant to aid their growth, access to marketing and sales support from DoorDash, and the opportunity to sell their items through DashMart, DoorDash’s grocery and convenience store. For many of the participants, this will mark the first time their products have been distributed beyond their own websites.