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.