The business owners will be able to make as much as $300,000 a year in profit running a full-sized fleet of 40 vans and managing 100 employees, according to Amazon.
Amazon said it was also committing $1 million toward funding startup costs for military veterans, offering $10,000 reimbursements for qualified candidates to build their businesses.
Each delivery unit will start their day at one of 75 current Amazon stations in the US where parcels ordered from Amazon.com are picked up by drivers wearing blue-collared shirts with an Amazon logo and black hats. This includes offering discounts on "Amazon-branded vehicles customized for delivery, branded uniforms, fuel, comprehensive insurance coverage, and more".
"Customer demand is higher than ever and we have a need to build more capacity", Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president of worldwide operations, said in the news release.
"We are going to offer a lot of support to these new businesses", Madan said, "so people who may not have logistics experience or experience building their own small business will have access to Amazon's technology".
This isn't the first time that Amazon has turned to independent contractors to deliver its packages.
But labor professors say the arrangement allows Amazon to reap the benefits of a vast delivery network without having to shoulder numerous risks and liabilities involved.
The new program goes a huge step beyond the gig economy side-hustle that is Amazon Flex. Last-mile delivery is among the retail industry's biggest challenges as customers increasingly expect quick and cheap delivery of nearly anything ordered online. President Donald Trump accused Amazon of giving the Postal Service a raw deal earlier this year, CNN pointed out.
Amazon has beefed up its delivery network in other ways.
The move gives Amazon more ways to ship its packages to shoppers without having to rely on UPS, FedEx and other package delivery services.
Taking advantage of the opportunity was a "no-brainer" for Aurora, Colorado, business owner Ola Abimbola, he said, as one of Amazon's beta participants in the new program.
"We are actively looking for entrepreneurs in Boston", Amazon spokesman Udit Madan said.
Amazon has also been planning another initiative in which it would send Amazon trucks to third-party sellers' warehouses and take pallets of goods to Amazon fulfillment centers.