The Wells Fargo Foundation Announces $20 Million Innovation Challenge Grant Designed for Entrepreneurs

Jessica Abo sits down with the President of the Wells Fargo Foundation to discuss the company’s commitment to tackling the country’s housing crisis and why they’re calling on entrepreneurs for help.

3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Jon Campbell strongly believes that America cannot afford unaffordable housing. The Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Philanthropy and Community Relations at Wells Fargo says that to date, “the company has put millions of dollars into philanthropy around housing, but it’s primarily been on home ownership. We’re at a point where we want to pivot, because this problem is so much larger than just ownership.”

Campbell says our country is facing a housing crisis. “The cost burden of housing in this country is changing very rapidly. Over 30 percent of Americans today pay over 30 percent of their income for housing each month. A subset of that are almost 18 million people paying over 50 percent of their own income for housing costs … those people are sacrificing other important parts of their life, their health, their food and their education.” 

For Campbell, this issue is personal. “It’s not someone else’s problem. It’s each of our problems. The way I think about why it’s my problem is because people I depend upon in the community that I live in, whether it be firefighters, police officers, teachers or other everyday heroes, they’ve been priced out of the communities many of us live in and they’re having to commute two and a half hours to get the work.” Campbell shared several ways the country can create more affordable housing when he sat down with Jessica Abo at the Social Innovation Summit in Los Angeles. 

While the company is committing a billion dollars of philanthropy to its housing affordability work between now and 2025, Campbell says money alone won’t solve this problem.

“Innovation is going to be critical to solving this housing affordability issues, no doubt about it. So, one of the other exciting things that we’re doing here at the summit is we’re announcing a $20 million innovation challenge grant in three areas where we want ideas from entrepreneurs,” Campbell says. “Number one, what are the new exciting ideas in how we can create more financing and lower cost for housing? Number two, how can we lower the cost of housing, whether it be materials or construction or architecture? And, then number three, certainly to provide those social services that are necessary to go along with this important field.

“It’s a big announcement, Enterprise Community Partners, is going to help us with this grant and we’re really excited about it. I hope many of you will consider joining our challenge grant.”

Applications will be available in mid-September and six winners will be selected. For more information, go here.


more recommended stories

  • How a Super Bowl Champion and Entrepreneur Got Back Up After Adversity Hit

    Setema Gali, high-performance coach and Super.

  • How the Founder of Flow’s Vision for a Mindful Bottled Water Company Attracted Supporters Like Gwyneth Paltrow

    Nicholas Reichenbach discusses finding the right.

  • How to Boost Sales With Seasonal Products

    Just because the leaves turn doesn’t.

  • A Dispensary That Caters To The Canna-Curious

    The information contained on this website.

  • Why Execution Is More Important Than Strategy

    Good ideas are only half the.

  • How Mobility Is Revolutionizing Transportation and Business

    August 22, 2019 2 min read.

  • A DNA Testing Kit That Tackles Your Health From The Inside Out

    DNA-based probiotics might help you feel.

  • Why Diversity Is the Secret to This Talent Agency’s Influencer-Based Approach

    This founder talks about catapulting into.

  • How to Handle Difficult People (and Still Achieve Your Business Goals)

    A founder’s guide to effectively utilizing.

  • 6 Tips From a Clean Beauty Entrepreneur

    Sarah Biggers went from a newbie.

  • Explaining the Benefits of Cannabis to Your Grandma

    Future studies are still needed, but.

  • 9 Ways to Handle Job-Related Stress From Dawn to Dusk

    It’s all in a day’s work..

  • Want to Become a Better Communicator? Learn to Listen.

    Cross-check your own habits with these.

  • How a Terrible Motorcycle Accident Led to a Business Built on Relieving Pain

    Dr. Jason Wersland describes his invention,.

  • Upgrade Your Facebook Marketing Efforts With This Course

    Get ahead of the competition with.

  • Success Lies in the Subtleties, and Every Second Counts

    John K. Coyle, discusses why a.

  • Entrepreneurship Often Involves Uncertainty. Here’s How to Deal With It Productively.

    The future may be unknowable, but.

  • How to Use Your Calendar Like GPS

    This author breaks down how he.

  • Here’s How to Reduce the Cost of Cannabis for Consumers

    Consumers could be saving money while.

  • 6 AI Tools Entrepreneurs Can Use on a Budget

    Countless businesses are already taking advantage.

  • 4 Things Your Team Manifesto Must Spotlight

    Done well, and this mother of.

  • ‘Why Can’t I Focus?’ Here’s What the Science Says.

    August 16, 2019 1 min read.

  • Taking on a Much Bigger Rival in a Hyper-Competitive Segment? Try a Move From This Playbook.

    Mazda’s North American president explains how.

  • How to Make PR Work For You

    Here are the decisive factors you.

  • Why Your Business Growth Depends on IT Infrastructure

    Success only evolves if company tech.

  • How to Turn Your Biggest Fear Into Your (Career) Superpower

    Negative beliefs can derail success, but.

  • Use This Secret Military Trick to Tell if Someone Is Lying

    January 30, 2019 5 min read.

  • This High-Performance Psychologist Explains How to Push the Boundaries of Human Potential

    Dr. Michael Gervais’ client roster includes.

  • The Rise of Impostor Entrepreneurs

    It’s not only easier to steal.

  • What This Defense Consultant Learned From His Felony Conviction

    Justin Paperny served 18 months in.

  • How to Get a Book Contract From a Legitimate Publisher

    It could be the key to.

  • How Self-Driving Cars Could Shape Our Future

    Once challenges are surmounted, the world.