Meet the 2024 Truist Foundation Inspire Award finalists.

Each finalist was selected for their inspiring vision for the future of small businesses. Their nonprofits have the potential to be revolutionary for entrepreneurs around the country, creating the opportunity for new generations of people and communities to thrive. We’re so excited for you to meet them—we’re sure it won’t be the last you hear from them.

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Unknown

I always say, when I leave this earth, I want to make sure that I left an impact and it doesn't have to be monetary. I want it to be the difference I can make.

 

00:00:17:23 - 00:00:30:18

Unknown

When I think about the entrepreneurs we work with, they are who inspire me. They are working with limited resources and saw an opportunity in their communities, and just are doing everything they can to see their businesses exist.

 

00:00:30:18 - 00:00:35:06

Unknown

My daughter, my daughter. Just the way she views the world.

 

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Unknown

She thinks anything is possible. She believes in everybody's good. I'm inspired by her on a daily basis.

 

00:00:41:08 - 00:00:43:23

Unknown

I think a lot about this African proverb that says

 

00:00:43:23 - 00:00:52:21

Unknown

the best time to plant a tree was yesterday but the next best time to plant a tree is today. Take ideas, take inspiration and have them take root now.

 

00:00:52:21 - 00:00:55:21

Unknown

that's what inspires me for creating a better future.

 

00:00:55:21 - 00:01:08:07

Unknown

Currently, what I find really inspiring is all the wins that we've seen workers make in the last year. Just being able to have working people really be able to finally have a voice and have a say and say, this is what community looks like and this is what we want our world to look like.

 

00:01:08:07 - 00:01:21:12

Unknown

I'm inspired by the incredibly gifted people that have come forward with these incredible ideas on how to really create the future so that people and the society start to really improve and can thrive.

 

00:01:21:12 - 00:01:34:00

Unknown

So what inspires me is helping the communities that I didn't even know needed help before. But it's just really inspiring getting to see the difference in our resources and our help gets to bring these communities.

 

Let’s make a difference—together.

In 2022, we launched the inaugural Inspire Awards in response to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on small businesses, particularly entrepreneurs from undercapitalized communities. This year’s Inspire Awards Challenge will look to innovative, technology-based solutions as a proven pathway to resiliency and sustainability for small businesses.

Technology solutions empower businesses to reach new customers, adapt during economic disruptions, streamline operations, and build partnerships that strengthen the small business community. Even during uncertain times, technology is and will continue to be crucial to small business success.

Learn more about our finalists and their solutions

The celebration of success

Following the completion of the program, each of the finalists will present their unique solutions to the Truist Foundation. During an exciting one-night-only event, finalists will have the opportunity to share their innovative idea with the community and a live audience where we will announce the grant recipients. 

Here are the grants for this challenge:

  • First place: $250,000
  • Second place: $150,000
  • Audience Favorite: $75,000
  • Runners-up: $25,000

Keep these important dates in mind:

  • May 5, 2023: Challenge opened
  • August 11, 2023: Deadline for applicants to submit a solution
  • October 2-3, 2023: Semifinalists invited for interview session with Truist Foundation and advisory council members
  • October 6, 2023: Finalists announced
  • October 2023 - April 2024: Finalists support program
  • April 24, 2024: Pitch event for finalists and winner announcement

Here’s a recap of the 2022 Inspire Awards.

Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative (AWBI) was the first-place recipient of the inaugural Inspire Awards. After each nonprofit finalist pitched their solutions to the Truist Foundation, AWBI was awarded a $250,000 grant. AWBI employs a community wealth-building framework to bolster 1,000 Black businesses in 1,000 days.

A grant for $225,000 was awarded to second place and audience fan favorite Aarti Sahgal, founder of Synergies Work. Synergies Work creates a framework of end-to-end support for entrepreneurs with disabilities focusing on financial capital, social capital, education, and mentorship to bridge the gaps between the business and disability community.