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Made by Women: Celebrating and Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

The Made by Women initiative doesn’t simply celebrate women-owned businesses — it provides access to the marketing, educational, financial and mentorship resources they need to continue to succeed, grow, and make an impact.

9 min read
3/8/2022
Kismet Owners Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer

In recent years, women have been more likely to start a business than men. And despite evidence that women-owned businesses are often highly successful, they tend to be less likely to survive. We want to change that. 

Whether it’s a business pitch or a secret recipe, a big decision or a small one, women entrepreneurs make things every day that advance our communities, our families, and the world at large. 

Tony Xu, Founder and CEO of DoorDash, first got the idea for DoorDash thanks to his mother, who worked in a local restaurant while establishing roots for her family in America after they immigrated from China. 

Designed to help inspired entrepreneurial women like Tony’s mother, Made by Women isn't just about celebration — it’s about connecting women entrepreneurs with the resources they need to continue to succeed, grow, and make an impact.

If there’s one thing that these women-owned businesses share, it’s the love for their communities—and the consistent work it takes to ensure that these community ties grow stronger. 

Leading the way

An avid baker, Brittney Hawkins-Dobard learned the ropes from her grandmother, who was a cook. “My grandmother cooked for a family for her whole life, so she was the one who sparked my love for cooking,” Brittney says.  A few years ago, she turned her love of baking into NoLa Cookie Co., selling homemade cookies, pralines, brownies, and more. 

Two years ago, Brittney’s husband lost his job—which meant that the bakery suddenly became the sole source of income for the family. “We had to put everything we had into the business,” Brittney says. The business also experienced another shift. “Covid shaped us into a delivery only and curbside pickup company,” she says. 

Brittney Hawkins-Dobard

I’m so happy we can provide sweet treats that remind customers of their mom or grandmother, someone who’s baking for them.

Brittney Hawkins-Dobard
Owner

The transition meant that Brittney had to be resourceful and find other channels to promote her business. “We had to lean on our delivery partners like DoorDash to really help us gain visibility and increase our orders,” she says. 

For Brittney, NoLa Cookie Co. is the way she honors her community—and its resilience. “Being resilient is part of what you have to be when you’re from New Orleans. It’s embedded in us—you just gotta stay ready.”

Chefs and co-owners Sara Kamer and Sarah Hymanson run Kismet, a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant located in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. Kismet uses locally sourced flavors to recreate the chefs’ childhood flavors. For example, their cucumber starter with mandarin, parsley seed za’atar, and rosewater vinaigrette draws from Sara’s upbringing. Her mom is Israeli, which influenced a lot of her childhood flavors—and Kismet’s cuisine. “I was introduced to lots of different spices,” Sara says.

Sarah Hymanson

The art of cooking for me is like a performance.

Sarah Hymanson
Co-Owner

Over the years, they’ve continued to serve their community in every way—even when it meant offering takeout in 2020, which was never an option before. “There’s a real craft to it. Thinking about how to repackage what it’s supposed to feel like in a restaurant to homes has definitely been a challenge,” Sarah says. 

The chefs are up for the challenge. “Food is the way people connect. We consider ourselves so lucky to be able to serve our community in a time like now—and always.”

Sherice Garner is the co-owner of Southern Q BBQ in Houston, Texas, where she’s run the business with her husband for over a decade. Southern Q BBQ originally started as a food trailer and transitioned to a restaurant in 2015. They specialize in East Texas BBQ, which involves slow and low cooking

Southern Q BBQ has used DoorDash to grow its business, which was especially important during the pandemic. “DoorDash has offered some promotional items for business owners. You can list your establishment as Black-owned if people want to support a particular type of business.” 

For Sherice, it’s more than sharing the love of barbecue—it’s also about being an integral part of her community. “We really enjoy the opportunity to provide employment and growth to our community and people in the surrounding area,” she says. “We want to be here for our customers as much as we can.”

Helpful resources that make a difference 

DoorDash has teamed up with a few different organizations to help provide women entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow. 

With Kiva, a global non-profit whose mission is to expand financial access, DoorDash matches loans for women-owned businesses.. Loans for eligible merchants provide funding up to $15,000, are crowdsourced, and provided at a 0% interest rate and no fees.

Through Start Small, Think Big, women business owners can also get free 1:1 legal, marketing, and financial support. 

The Entrepreneurship & Access programs help U.S. and Canadian women, immigrant, and BIPOC-owned businesses access to marketing support, resources, health insurance options, training, and more. Our recently launched DoorDash Capital program is there to assist entrepreneurs in the U.S. with scaling their business without a credit check or paperwork required. 

This month, DoorDash is also shining a spotlight on women-owned businesses on our platform in partnership with Re:Her and Bumble in select cities in the U.S. RE:Her is a national non-profit driven by women restaurateurs on a mission to empower and advance women, women of color, indigenous women, and LGBTQ+ identifying women food and beverage entrepreneurs. It provides through marketing and business programs, accelerators, fundraising, and its equity framework. From March 4-13, DoorDash and Caviar will feature a carousel of RE:Her participating members in Los Angeles and offer exclusive dishes.

DoorDash also announced a $30,000 Community Credits donation to support new parents to Haven on Queensway’s First Care program. To learn more, you can watch a recording of the panel championing women leaders and entrepreneurs in Canada here

During Women’s History Month and throughout the year, all women-owned businesses can sign up to receive our in-app Women-Owned store banner here. The banner will be displayed permanently in the app to help customers identify and support local women owned businesses more easily. If you’re not already a DoorDash partner, sign up for DoorDash to feature your business on the app.

Supporting women business owners is a lasting commitment. Stay tuned for more resources on the way. 

Author

Vonnie Williams

Vonnie Williams

Copywriter

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