Intuit is working to boost survival rates for small businesses.
Intuit’s business mission is to “power prosperity.” To achieve this goal, the company is working to boost survival rates for small businesses, increase savings rates of individuals, and foster job creation, particularly in communities in need.
Expanding stakeholder access to the economy aligns well with its primary business of selling financial software tools. To increase usage of its signature products, such as QuickBooks and Mint, Intuit has designed outreach programs for financial education at all levels, ranging from students to entrepreneurs.
Intuit established a Customer Success Expert Network strategy to tap local talent in distressed communities. A key part of this strategy is Intuit’s Prosperity Hub program, which deploys professionals to rural markets. As part of the program, customer success partner-employees recruit and train new employees to provide Intuit domain and product expertise to local customers of QuickBooks, TurboTax, and Mint, a budget and banking tracking tool. These jobs support the local economy by helping small business owners efficiently use Intuit products so they can expand their businesses.
Since 2016, Intuit has created 1,300 new jobs in five target markets: Wise, VA; Bluefield, WV; Johnstown, PA; Morristown, TN; and Hazard, KY. Intuit plans to expand this program to other communities in need, with an additional 1,500 jobs by 2021. While this may seem like just a sales force expansion, it is being done with sustainable economic development goals in mind. The new Prosperity Hubs will also provide assistance for military families and people with disabilities. So far, for every $1.00 Intuit invests in its Prosperity Hubs, the communities are expected to see $1.59 of economic activity.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Intuit has been facilitating small loans to small- and medium-sized businesses. Its financing unit originated close to $1 billion worth of loans to its QuickBooks customers through the end of May as part of the Paycheck Protection Program of the U.S. government’s $2 trillion CARES Act.
Another major corporate responsibility program is Intuit Education, which reaches 100,000 students and educators under the rubric of financial literacy. In the U.S., only 17 percent of high school students are required to take a personal finance course. As a result, Intuit sees an opportunity to use its educational programming to bring young people up to speed with business basics and its financial tools. For example, Intuit has partnered with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship to create a financial management course centered on using QuickBooks Online and other tools.
Intuit has also partnered with Next Gen Personal Finance, Take Charge Today, and the Council for Economic Education to use Mint and TurboTax simulations in personal finance curricula that reach more than four million students annually. The program aims to give students a strong grounding in financial literacy and risk analysis, to increase their entrepreneurial confidence, and to ingrain the usage of Intuit products into their business workflows.
In addition, Intuit invests in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) for young women to bridge a gap within its own workforce. Only 27 percent of its technologists are women, so supporting coding for girls and similar initiatives is an investment in prospective employees and raises brand awareness. Intuit supports Girls Who Code, the National Center for Women & Information Technology, AnitaB.org, YesWeCode, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and similar nonprofits to enhance the diversity of the talent pipeline.
Sustainable Development Goals
The Sands Capital six investment criteria tend to lead us to businesses that are innovators or vital facilitators of change in industries undergoing significant transformation. Many of these businesses operate in high-impact spaces, such as technology and life science.
Intuit is one of many portfolio businesses that create impact by addressing at least one major social and environmental challenge identified by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Intuit addresses SDG 1: No Poverty; SDG 4: Quality Education; SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth; SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities; SDG 13: Climate Action; and SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals.
The business profiled was selected based on its reported alignment with one or more U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
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