Scaling the Adopt a Small Business program

Thanks to employee volunteers and small business owners around the world, Adopt a Small Business has grown from an in-person operation to a fully-remote, global program focused on solving the real-life challenges business owners face.

Volunteer handing bowl to group of three people gathered around a table
Volunteer handing bowl to group of three people gathered around a table

Customer obsession has always been one of Intuit’s core values. While Intuit prides itself on creating innovative products and services, our touchpoints leave us with a partial view of the real-life challenges small businesses face.

In April 2019, the Adopt a Small Business program began. In this program, small groups of Intuit employees volunteer to adopt a QuickBooks and/or Mailchimp customer for two months, getting to know the ups and downs of running a small business while using our products. Once adopted, the teams meet weekly with their adopted businesses to engage themselves in the behind-the-scenes work of running a business, completing tasks such as: invoicing, data entry, reconciliations, and payroll.

Since its creation, this mutually beneficial immersive program has brought together small business customers and Intuit employees. It has grown from a small, in-person operation to a fully-remote, global program. Through ‌customer experience, we can better understand what keeps our customers up at night and why they make certain business decisions. Through the employee experience, employees gain highly contextual empathy and product knowledge while networking with employees from other business units. The end result is a  deeper connection between our customers and products.

Since launching the virtual pilot in January 2021, over 150 small businesses across 4 countries have been adopted, with more than 600 employees across 6 countries completing the program. Externally, we’ve partnered with the following associations to help the program thrive:

  • Bunker Labs, whose mission is to provide community, programs, and courses to help military veterans and military spouses start and grow successful businesses and startups. 
  • Detroit Accounting Aid Society brings education, financial operations management assistance, technical assistance, coaching and tax prep for small business owners in Metro Detroit.
  • La Cocina, whose organization is working to solve problems of equity in business ownership for women, immigrants and people of color. 

Because it’s virtual, Intuit employees are no longer confined to adopting small businesses located around Intuit campuses. The program now has the flexibility to remotely connect employees with entrepreneurs in different areas and time zones.

Working with these organizations and partnering with other small business influencers have allowed us to adopt businesses that are in need of learning how to use QuickBooks and Mailchimp to its fullest capabilities.  

To find out more about the program or to see if you are eligible to join a future cohort please reach out to

What our customers are saying

I learned a lot about QuickBooks. It was overwhelming at first, but during the 8 weeks, the team showed me new workflows, categorized rising transactions and helped me understand the numbers behind my business.This program far exceeded my expectations.” –Elizabeth Blevins, Home Sweet Home Cupcakes and member of the Detroit Accounting Aid Society

“I went into this in total honesty, feeling really defeated. I can’t figure out QuickBooks.The team I had was very compassionate, understanding and helped me with Shopify and inventory management. Thank you for reminding me that even the biggest companies like QB have wonderful people behind the scenes looking out for the little people.” –Laura Kelly, Sol Authentica

What our employees are saying

“The program gave me a personal appreciation for the roadblocks and issues that our customers face while trying to run their business and the way in which QBO can help or hurt them with that.” –Sandra Holland, QuickBooks Live

“This experience gave me a different vantage point; what our customers need from us in Intuit is simple, an affordable tool to run their small business while driving prosperity.” –Travis Day, Sr Program Mgr – Talent Acquisition Operations & Compliance

The program’s impact

This program continues to elevate the power of our ecosystem, while leveraging the talent and knowledge our employees bring to the program. In fact, 91% of the adopted businesses feel more comfortable using QuickBooks after participating in a cohort. All the while, our employees can focus on one of Intuit’s values–Customer Obsession. 

We already know our small businesses are resilient and experiencing pain points every day, but now is our time to truly be their champion and help build their confidence while running QuickBooks and Mailchimp.