Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) has launched a new campaign and contest to encourage Americans to start their own small businesses. The nationwide "Just Start" campaign offers participants advice, resources, and the chance to win a startup grant of $50,000.

As part of the new campaign, Intuit has also unveiled the latest free version of its user-friendly QuickBooks Simple Start accounting software. Previous versions of the award-winning software have been valued at $99.95. The software and more information about the campaign can be accessed at

Contest entrants must submit a letter or video describing their business idea by Dec. 15. A panel of small-business experts will select the winners by January 2008. The Just Start campaign will also feature four events in Seattle, Chicago, New York, and Boston, respectively.