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Shipt launches ecommerce accelerator for local retailers

LadderUp is aiming for 50% LGBTQ+ and BIPOC participation. Shopify will provide access to its platform.

people standing over a laptop talking

LadderUp will include an 8-week ecommerce course. (Courtesy photo)

Shipt is launching a new accelerator program designed to provide ecommerce tools for local retailers.Called LadderUp, the program is centered on equity. Target-owned delivery owned Shipt said conversations with business owners have revealed that local entrepreneurs face “gaps” in technology, but they also want to participate in ecommerce platforms. The COVID-19 pandemic was especially difficult for Black business owners, who saw earnings drop between 11-28% in 2019-2020, as compared to the earnings decrease of 5-17% for the rest of the population.

With the new program, the company’s goal is to reach at least 50% LGBTQ+ and BIPOC participation in the program.

Shipt is aiming to serve businesses in Atlanta, Birmingham, Alabama, Detroit, Houston and Washington, D.C.

Target categories include: grocery/beverage, health, beauty, and floral/gifts retailers.

“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,” said CEO Kamau Witherspoon. “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.”

What will entrepreneurs receive?

Education: Business owners who are selected will receive an 8-week course with industry leaders that covers business-building topics including finances, efficiency, marketing, ecommerce 101, the basics of using Shipt, and legal knowledge.

Funding: Upon completion, retailers will provide $5,000 for businesses to invest in ecommerce.

Shopify access: Shopify, which is partnering with Shipt, is also providing to its access for a limited amount of time to help business owners build an online storefront and manage inventory. The program will also provide technical assistance.

Applications are open Feb. 6- March 6.

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