Intuit led its second Social Innovation Challenge in the fall of 2022, from October 3 - November 15. More than 2,000 students participated, inspired by the prompt, “How might we help underrepresented aspiring entrepreneurs access resources to help them start their business?”
The charter is a particularly critical one, as emerging leaders in underrepresented groups face unique obstacles on their path to success. For example, raising funds to start a business is particularly challenging: only 2.3% of all venture capital dollars were received by all-woman companies in 2020, and just 1.2% of the $147 billion raised for startups in the first half of 2021 went to Black founders. What’s more, 90% of Latinx entrepreneurs struggle to access the funds and support they need to launch and grow their businesses.
Intuit's Corporate Responsibility team created the Social Innovation Challenge initiative to help aspiring entrepreneurs in these underrepresented groups build the confidence to pursue their dreams and make a positive impact in the communities we serve. The Challenges engage students from nonprofit partners and school districts to leverage design thinking to develop innovative solutions that help increase access to entrepreneurship and small business ownership for underrepresented groups.
“We wanted to create a program that would not only teach important life and business lessons but allow students to immediately apply the concepts,” said Nico Valencia, Social Innovation Challenge leader at Intuit. “Participating in the challenge prepares students for the workforce and by helping them develop durable skills for critical thinking and creative problem-solving, and the resources and support they need to succeed in the business world.”