Changemaker (n) – One who desires change in the world and, by gathering knowledge and resources, makes that change happen.

What is the Changemaker Challenge? 

  • Hosted by the Horizon Foundation, in partnership with United Way of Central Maryland, the Changemaker Challenge is an event focused on sparking innovation and fresh thinking to address some of Howard County’s most pressing social issues.

Why are the Horizon Foundation and United Way of Central Maryland Hosting the Changemaker Challenge?

  • The Horizon Foundation and United Way of Central Maryland are hoping to spark and celebrate new and continued innovation to help tackle some of the most challenging social issues in Howard County.
  • Despite all the strengths of our community in Howard County, we recognize that many pressing problems continue to persist. One in five Howard County households do not earn enough to meet a basic “survival budget” and face barriers beyond their control that limit their ability to become financially stable, according to United Way data. Chronic diseases like diabetes disproportionately affect people of color in our community. Public transportation remains a hurdle for residents who need to get to work, school or grocery shopping without a car. The list goes on.
  • Fortunately, Howard County has a long history of tireless work by many individuals and organizations that have brought creative solutions to some of these pressing problems. With the Changemaker Challenge, we are excited to spark and celebrate new and continued innovation in our community.
  • That’s why we want to hear the best out-of-the-box ideas for social change.

How Does the Changemaker Challenge Work?

  • Those who want an opportunity to participate in the Changemaker Challenge must submit their big idea by September 8, 2017 at changemakerchallengehc.org.
  • If their big idea is chosen to participate in the Changemaker Challenge, they will be notified by September 15, 2017 that they are a finalist.
  • Finalists will then pitch their big ideas to a live audience and a panel of judges on October 30, 2017 at the Kossiakoff Center in Howard County.
  • Three winners will receive $10,000 in seed funding and project consultation to help bring their ideas to life.

Who Can Pitch a Big Idea? Can I Submit a Pitch for a New Business?

  • Maryland residents 18 years of age or older are invited to pitch their big idea to impact Howard County.
  • Individuals, teams and nonprofit organizations in Maryland are invited to participate.
  • For-profit entities are not eligible to participate. 

What Kind of Big Ideas Are You Looking For?

  • Big ideas can focus on any social issue affecting Howard County.
  • No idea is too big or too small – we are looking for creative, passionate ideas that will make a positive difference in our residents’ lives.
  • Some big idea examples are: public health, the environment, social justice, economic opportunity, children, teens or older adults … the issues are real and the possibilities to effect lasting social change are endless!
  • Cell phone videos are acceptable for the video portion of the application.
  • Ideas will be evaluated on three criteria: innovation, impact and implementation.
  • All ideas must impact Howard County.

Where Can I find the Official Rules?

By submitting a big idea to the Changemaker Challenge, each Applicant agrees to the terms and conditions in the Official Rules on the Changemaker Challenge website: www.changemakerchallengehc.org 

What Do You Mean by Social Innovation?

  • Social innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions. The value created accrues primarily to the community rather than to private individuals.
  • Social innovation focuses attention on the ideas and solutions that create social value — as well as the processes through which they are generated, not just on individuals and organizations.

Official Rules: By submitting a big idea to the Changemaker Challenge, each Applicant agrees to the following terms and conditions in the Official Rules.

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