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Shipt launches accelerator for local retailers

Shipt is providing assistance and training to local retailers.

Shipt is providing capital, e-commerce-focused technical assistance, and education from industry leaders to select local retailers.

The same-day delivery and last-mile company, which was acquired by Target in 2017, is introducing LadderUp, a new accelerator program being offered to local retailers in Atlanta, Birmingham, Detroit, Houston and Washington, D.C. Shipt intends for at least 50% of businesses selected for the program to participate to have Black/Indigenous/People of Color (BIPOC) and/or LGBTQ+ ownership.

LadderUp is initially open to grocery/beverage, health, beauty, and floral/gifts retailers. If selected, small business owners will go through an eight-week course learning from retail industry leaders on driving sustainable growth, building financial foundation, building efficiency, marketing, e-commerce 101, using Shipt, and the basic legal knowledge needed to run a business. 

Additionally, for each participating retailer who completes the LadderUp program, Shipt will provide $5,000 to help invest in their e-commerce. E-commerce company Shopify is partnering with Shipt to teach a course in the program and will provide access to its platform for a limited time at no cost to help participants build an online storefront, streamline operations, and optimize inventory tracking. 

“As a growing tech company that is putting food insecurity and equity at the forefront of its work, Shipt is proud to announce the launch of LadderUp,” said Shipt CEO Kamau Witherspoon. “Working with small businesses to build up their capabilities is a key part of our commitment to help create healthier, more resilient and equitable communities. We recognize the unique role that we can play in both combating hunger in under-resourced communities and boosting small, local retailers that are so vital to communities across our country.”    

“At Shopify, our mission is to make commerce better for everyone,” said Crystal Hunt, Shopify senior program manager of partnerships diversity & belonging.  “To achieve this mission we must bring more voices to entrepreneurship. Together with Shipt, we are reducing the unique barriers facing underrepresented business owners. Through this partnership we will create community and opportunity for the change makers, disruptors and creators of tomorrow, because we know the success of a single entrepreneur can create a legacy, power communities and inspire the world.”

Retailers can apply to participate in LadderUp here, through March 6, 2023.

In 2022, Shipt awarded nearly $250,000 in microgrants to organizations that focused on food insecurity, economic disparities and youth workforce development. The company also works with national non-profit partners such as Feeding America, American Red Cross and United Way.

[Read more: Shipt offers new features for customers and drivers]

Shipt provides personal shopping and delivery and is available to 80% of households in more than 5,000 U.S. cities. An independently operated, wholly-owned subsidiary of Target Corp, Shipt was founded and headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., and also maintains an office in San Francisco.

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