Region(s):
United States
Subject Area:
Economic Opportunity/Mobility
Donor Partner:

Anonymous

Population:
Low-income individuals
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG):
  • GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Competition status: Registration Closed; Finalists Selected

Economic Opportunity Challenge

Launched on October 15, 2019, the Economic Opportunity Challenge will award $10 million to scale a game-changing solution to improve the economic health of low-income families in the U.S. The application period is now closed, and finalists have been selected.

Finalists

On June 24, 2020, five finalists were announced in the Economic Opportunity Challenge. Selected from a pool of 160 applicants, the finalists represent projects focused on workforce development, asset building, and policy. One of the finalists will be selected as the $10 million Economic Opportunity Challenge recipient in November 2020, and each of the other four finalists will be awarded $100,000.

The finalists are now featured in the Bold Solutions Network, a searchable online collection of highly-rated, rigorously-evaluated proposals that emerge from each of the competitions managed by Lever for Change. They are listed below in alphabetical order (follow links to their Bold Solutions Network profile pages for more information):

  1. Chicago Asset-Building for Children (Chicago ABCs) (video)
    Chicago ABCs, a coalition led by the Chicago Community Trust, will braid three proven strategies: child savings accounts, cash transfers, and visiting nurses in a dual generation approach to propel 4,600 families to economic security.
  2. Making Freedom Free: Bail and Economic Mobility in the South (video)
    The Bail Project will provide free bail assistance and wraparound services to low-income individuals in 20 jurisdictions across the country and advocate for systemic changes to the pretrial system.
  3. Moving Families Out of Poverty Permanently (video)
    Family Independence Initiative (FII) will partner with the City of Chicago to move low-income families out of poverty, permanently. FII will invest directly in the existing strengths and solutions of low-income families and their communities, and remove the deficit-based criteria traditionally used to access support.
  4. Proven Pathways to Transformative Careers in Tech (video)
    Per Scholas, a leading technology workforce development organization, will join The Financial Clinic and MDRC to propel 20,000+ low-income individuals into the middle class by helping them launch successful tech careers.
  5. Skills for America's Future: Changing Lives Through a Jobs-First Model (video)
    Skills for Chicagoland’s Future will drive economic mobility in 17 cities by placing 10,325 low-income individuals into meaningful employment over the next five years

About the Economic Opportunity Challenge

The Economic Opportunity Challenge will award $10 million to scale a game-changing solution aimed to improve the economic health of low-income families.

The Economic Opportunity Challenge will fund the most transformative, evidence-based solution to address barriers to improved economic opportunity, security, and/or mobility for individuals residing in the United States.

We are looking for proven, data-driven solutions ready to serve as a model for implementation across the country. Winning solutions will utilize a powerful strategy to change lives and permanently remove key barriers to economic opportunity. Teams will demonstrate that they have the track record, experience, relationships, and resources to create lasting change, using an evidence-based approach that shows promise for delivering significant impact at a larger scale. Applications will be scored based on the following four criteria:

(1 ) Magnitude of Impact
(2) Strength of Evidence
(3) Likelihood of Success
(4) Potential for Scale

Featured Competitions

View All Competitions
women at rally
Open for Registration
Equality Can't Wait Challenge

Launched on June 16, 2020, the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge will award $30 million to help expand women’s power and influence in the United States by 2030. Hosted by Pivotal Ventures, the investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates, the Challenge seeks to accelerate the pace of progress for more women of all backgrounds to be in positions to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives in their homes, workplaces, and communities – because equality can’t wait. Applicants must register online by Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

Gender Equality
Aerial view of a coastline with blue-green water
Open for Registration
2030 Climate Challenge

On April 29, 2020, the 2030 Climate Challenge launched, awarding $10 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings, industry, and/or transportation sectors in the U.S. by 2030. Applicants must register online by Thursday, July 23, 2020.

Environment
distinctive hoodoo rock formation
Registration Closed; In Process
Lone Star Prize

Launched on March 31, 2020, the Lone Star Prize will award $10 million to an innovative, proven solution that improves the quality of life for Texans. The registration period is now closed.

Environment
Health
Workforce
Rohingya mother and child
Registration Closed; In Process
Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award

Launched on January 29, 2020, the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award is a $12 million global competition to fund a solution that secures a brighter, more durable future for refugees. The registration period is now closed.

Refugee Support
Chicago CTA train pulling into the platform
Registration Closed; Finalists Selected
Chicago Prize

On April 16, 2019, the Pritzker Traubert Foundation launched the Chicago Prize to award $10 million to a community-led, investment-ready initiative that will create a better economic future for residents on Chicago’s South and/or West Side. The application period is closed, and finalists have been selected.

Community Improvement/Capacity Building
mountain landscape
Registration Closed; In Process
100&Change

Launched on April 30, 2019, the second round of MacArthur's $100 million global competition will fund a single proposal that will make measurable progress toward solving a significant problem. The application period is closed.

Open to Any Subject

Help Bold Solutions Take Flight

Join us and help support nonprofits and problem solvers scale their bold solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.