Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) said Monday it was expanding its Delivery Service Partner program in the U.S. with an incentive for current employees of the online retail giant to own and operate a package delivery service.
The incentive will fund the startup costs, up to $10,000, and the equivalent of three months of the former employee's last gross salary.
The Seattle-based company said employees leaving Amazon to start their businesses will have consistent delivery volume from Amazon, access to the company's delivery technology, hands-on training, and discounts on a suite of assets and services, including Amazon-branded vans customized for delivery, branded uniforms and comprehensive insurance.
Amazon said that since the launch of the Delivery Service Partner program in June, the company has helped create more than 200 new small businesses that have hired thousands of local drivers to deliver packages to Amazon customers. This year, the company plans to add hundreds more new businesses, starting with employees-turned-business owners. The program has expanded to employees in the U.K. and Spain.
There are more than 1.9 million businesses working with Amazon in the U.S., according to the 2019 Amazon SMB Impact Record, including selling in the company's stores, operating a delivery service provider, using Amazon Web Services, running an Alexa Skill, or publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing.