Amazon launched a new program on Monday aimed at encouraging current employees to leave the company and start small package delivery businesses. The initiative offers employees up to $10,000 to cover startup costs and the equivalent of three months salary.
“One of the biggest ways to continue innovating in commerce is on delivery,” Cheddar’s Nora Ali said. “Whether it is by speeding up deliveries, adding capacities through a program like this one, reducing costs, and improving margins.”
The new program — which will be available to employees in the U.S., the UK, and Spain — is an expansion of Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner program, which was first started in June 2018 to help create local delivery businesses.
“We received overwhelming interest from tens of thousands of individuals who applied to be part of the Delivery Service Partner program, including many employees,” Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, said in a statement. “We’ve heard from associates that they want to participate in the program but struggled with the transition. Now we have a path for those associates with an appetite for opportunities to own their own businesses.”
In the increasingly crowded field of e-commerce, Amazon ($AMZN) has continuously been working to decrease delivery costs and increase efficiencies. The Seattle-based company has invested in autonomous technology, delivery drones, and launched programs like Amazon Key, which allows customers to unlock their doors remotely for packages to be left inside their homes.