In total, Amazon has committed nearly $7 million worldwide supporting hundreds of entrepreneurs through various grant programs. 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 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. Amazon’s mission is to be earth’s most customer-centric company, and this mission is central to our work in diversity, equity and inclusion. Amazon customers benefit from diversity of thought. We believe it is good for our business, but our commitment is based on something more fundamental than that – it’s simply right,” said Karuna Shankar Pande, Director, Amazon Logistics, India, in a statement.
Rachna Kher, Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner from Pune commented, “The journey from 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 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 the Delivery Service Partner program 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 program, with more opportunities for diverse partners to build their own businesses. Over the years, the Delivery Service Program is a network of more than 1,000 delivery stations around the world, and has expanded to more than 14 countries, including United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Brazil, the Netherlands, India, Belgium, and Austria. It most recently launched the program in Saudi Arabia, which is the first Middle Eastern country where the DSP program operates.