To help more local small business owners innovate and compete in a rapidly changing marketplace, Capital One and Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence will hold a “Leadership Institute: Thrive with Massive Change” event for local women-owned small businesses, featuring world-renowned expert design innovator Bruce Mau from April 15-17, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia. During the “Leadership Institute: Thrive with Massive Change” event, Mau will introduce the Design Thinking methodology, used by Fortune 500 companies, including Capital One, to the small business community. Local small business owners will have the opportunity to learn how they can apply Mau’s Design Thinking methodology -- based on a human-centered, prototype-driven process for innovation -- to their products, services, or business design. “At Capital One we’re using Design Thinking and its customer-focused approach to reimagine the way millions of people interact with their money to ensure that we’re building the products and experiences our customers need,” said Evelyn Huang, Director of Design Thinking and Strategy, Capital One. “By partnering with Count Me In to introduce Design Thinking to the small business community, we’re hoping to help more entrepreneurs unlock critical customer insights to accelerate innovation and fuel the growth of their small businesses.” A recent Capital One survey found that 43 percent of small business owners in the Washington, DC, area are concerned about their ability to compete with larger businesses over the next five years. While local DC-area small businesses identify a lack of customer insights as one of their top hurdles to keeping pace with larger businesses in a rapidly changing marketplace, only 37 percent of DC-area small businesses said they conduct in-person feedback sessions with customers, only 16 percent conduct surveys of customers to get feedback on new products and prototypes, and 9 percent do not involve customers at all in the process of creating new products and prototypes, found the Capital One survey of local small business owners.