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Intuit and Junior Achievement: An Experiment in Progress

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To better prepare the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, Intuit and Junior Achievement are using rapid experimentation to innovate around a 90-plus year-old program.

Junior Achievement is a nonprofit organization that prepares young people for the real world by teaching them about money management and how business works.

After nearly a decade of volunteer work with JA, Intuit employees recognized an opportunity to incorporate the company’s innovation practices with JA’s A Company Program, an after-school, extracurricular simulation geared at giving young people the skills they need to create and manage a business.

Intuit’s approach to innovation is largely based on rapid experimentation – the use of small teams to quickly test “minimum viable product” ideas with customers for fast feedback and iteration.

Intuit will test Company Program curriculum, process and technology enhancements with JA students, teachers and volunteers. The best solutions will be piloted in the San Francisco Bay Area and select chapters, timed with the launch of the 2013 Company Program.

Giving Back at Intuit

JA’s trained classroom volunteers – many of whom work in the local business communities JA serves – guide students through hands-on experiences designed to show them how to manage personal finances and start and run a business.

Intuit employees have supported JA for years as in-classroom volunteers and as board members in local their chapters. These efforts support Intuit’s We Care and Give Back value, which promotes philanthropy by offering employees 32 hours of paid time off to volunteer during normal work hours.

“Our partnership with JA started as an employee grassroots effort and has grown into an innovation project for the We Care and Give Back team,” said Terilyn Monroe, director of Global Employee Engagement at Intuit. “It is inspiring to see our employees use their skills to motivate the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Investing in the next generation is nothing new for Intuit. The company hosted Digital Natives Day in 2012 to better understand future customers and employees. The day-long learning session exposed students to a real-world approach to business innovation and let them try their hand at creating mobile apps.

This article was written by Sara Nixon who manages Analyst Relations for Intuit’s Small Business Group and acts as the global co-lead for Intuit’s Next Generation Network.

Troy Marcyes

Troy Marcyes works in customer relations at Intuit and is inspired by the small business owners he talks to every day. In his spare time he enjoys coaching baseball and training in mixed martial arts.

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