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Taco Bell Foundation Brings Back Social Impact Challenge To Fuel Young People's Big Ideas

The Taco Bell Foundation's Ambition Accelerator is back for a second year with an international expansion and $250,000 in funding up for grabs throughout the program

IRVINE, CA / ACCESSWIRE / February 14, 2024 / Yum! Brands
Originally published by Taco Bell

  • Powered by the Taco Bell Foundation and in partnership with Ashoka, the world's largest network of social entrepreneurs, Ambition Accelerator is back for a second year and expanding to India.
  • Ambition Accelerator is a social impact program that offers young people the chance to access up to $25,000 in funding, mentorship and feedback on their initiatives, and the opportunity to network with other young innovators.
  • Ambitious changemakers between the ages of 16 and 26 in the U.S., U.S. Territories and India can review requirements and apply here: https://www.tacobellfoundation.org/ambition-accelerator/.

Ambition Accelerator is back and spicier than ever! The Taco Bell Foundation's signature social entrepreneurship program is now open for its second year of applications, this time with more opportunities to drive positive change.

The program invites young rising movers and shakers- also known as changemakers - to showcase their community impact initiatives for a chance to receive up to $25,000 in funding. As a bonus, program semi-finalists in the U.S. will be flown to Taco Bell's headquarters for exclusive access to networking, additional funding and mentorship opportunities to advance their projects.

In partnership with changemaking organization Ashoka, the world's largest network of social entrepreneurs, and funded by Yum!'s Unlocking Opportunity Initiative, the Taco Bell Foundation Ambition Accelerator invites young people to submit their venture ideas for the opportunity to grow their changemaking abilities, access funding, and join a community of peers and mentors who are leaders in the social impact space.

A young person with a good idea can change the world, and when they realize their power as a changemaker, the resulting ripple effect can change mindsets and drive structural change within their communities and even institutions. The Ambition Accelerator aims to power the bold ambitions of the next generation as they disrupt inequitable broken systems and pursue positive change, supporting and championing young innovators to be the leaders of today.

"As an organization, we're passionate about connecting young people with the tools they need to chase their dreams," said Jennifer Bradbury, Executive Director of the Taco Bell Foundation. "The Ambition Accelerator enables young minds to transform their bold ideas into impactful realities, fostering a generation of changemakers who will shape a brighter future for us all."

New this year, the program is expanding and is calling on social impact drivers across India. Young changemakers in India will have the chance to access ₹1,000,000 (10 lakhs) in funding and an opportunity to attend an inaugural event in Bangaluru, India to pitch their ideas and projects to drive positive change.

"Ashoka has a large network of changemakers all over the world, so when we looked to expand this program to offer more young people the opportunity to impact their communities, and self-actualize as changemakers, we felt there was a huge opportunity in India," said Tia Johnston Brown, Executive Director of Ashoka's Youth Venture. "We're thrilled to offer this impactful program in two countries this year."

Young changemakers often face barriers, including inequities in accessing funding and resources. This program aims to create a space where all have access to the right connections, while fostering an environment that celebrates the rich diversity of perspectives, backgrounds and experiences of our applicants are celebrated.

All applicants will receive feedback from mentors on their application. Ten stand-out early applicants who apply by February 12, 2024 (11:59 PM PST) will also receive a cash prize of $500 or ₹20,000 in seed funding to help fuel their ambitions.

Applications are being accepted now through March 14, 2024 (11:59 PM PST). Applicants can email ambition@ashoka.org or text (571) 622-1066 with questions.

About Taco Bell Foundation
Taco Bell Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity that helps break down barriers to educate and inspire the next generation of young leaders. Since 1992, the Taco Bell Foundation has reached more than 5 million young people around the globe and has awarded more than $155 million in grants and scholarships, focused on education and career readiness. For more information about the Taco Bell Foundation, visit www.tacobellfoundation.org.

About Ashoka
Ashoka is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs - individuals with new ideas to systemically address the world's biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional and global social impact. Over 40 years, Ashoka has supported over 4,00 social entrepreneurs in 90 countries with solutions addressing society's most pressing issues. Ashoka's vision is a world in which Everyone is a Changemaker - a society that responds quickly and effectively to challenges, and where every individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem. For more information, visit ashoka.org.

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SOURCE: Yum! Brands



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