With its inclusive special diversity grant under Amazon's Delivery Service Partner (DSP) programme, the e-commerce giant aims to provide women, persons with disability and people from the LGBTQIA+ community who are aspiring entrepreneurs, with a financial boost to cover their startup costs.
E-commerce giant Amazon India on August 9 launched a special grant to empower aspiring entrepreneurs from under-represented communities to join its Delivery Service Partner (DSP) programme in India.
With the DSP programme, Amazon assists interested entrepreneurs to start their own delivery business by providing them with access to Amazon's sophisticated delivery technology, hands-on training, and exclusively negotiated deals on services such as payroll management, insurance, and recruitment technology among others.
Building strong teams who understand their communities is the most difficult challenge in growing a delivery network, and small business owners are the best at it, the company said.
In total, Amazon has committed nearly $7 million worldwide, supporting hundreds of entrepreneurs through various grant programmes.
"With the special diversity grant, the company aims to enable women, persons with disability and people from the LGBTQIA+ community who are aspiring entrepreneurs, with a financial boost to cover some of the startup costs of setting up the business. Those with no prior logistics experience are also welcome to apply for the grant and participate in the program," it said.
It is Amazon’s goal to remove obstacles to entrepreneurs starting their own businesses and to help reduce and remove barriers for underrepresented communities.
"Since its inception in India, the DSP program has not only aided Amazon in providing growth opportunities to SMBs, but it has also enabled us to expand our delivery network into the country's hinterlands. We are pleased to offer a special grant to women and other underrepresented communities joining the program to evolve the entrepreneurship ecosystem in logistics," said Dr Karuna Shankar Pande, Director of Amazon Logistics, India.
Rachna Kher, Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner from Pune, said "The journey from the corporate sector to a successful entrepreneur as Amazon’s delivery service partner has been an enriching experience for me. Embarking on this journey with my business partner, Priya Junagade in 2018 wasn’t easy but we decided to dream big and chase our dreams. As part of the program, Amazon has provided us with all the required knowledge, training and skills to build a strong business foundation."
In 2021, Amazon expanded its DSP programme in India to support aspiring entrepreneurs to develop and launch their delivery services, even if they had no prior delivery expertise. Amazon India now has more than 350 entrepreneurs who are part of the programme, with more opportunities for diverse partners to build their own businesses.
Over the years, the DSP system has developed into a network of more than 1,000 delivery stations around the world and has expanded to more than 14 countries, including the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Brazil, the Netherlands, India, Belgium, and Austria.