Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge

Funding Agency:
National Forest Foundation

The forests and grasslands that comprise our nation’s 193-million-acre National Forest System provide a diverse array of goods and services, including wood products, fish and wildlife habitat, clean air and water, and recreational opportunities ranging from developed ski areas to remote wilderness destinations. Managed for multiple public values, these lands often generate controversy as natural resource managers face challenges not contemplated by the founders of the National Forest System more than a century ago.

The National Forest Foundation works with the U.S. Forest Service and other partners to leverage the best thinking, conservation capacity, and community action to help measurably improve the health of our National Forests and Grasslands. We are committed to engaging diverse interests and communities in addressing the challenges of forest management through innovative solutions. Increasingly, we recognize that durable solutions for public resources require a strong market-based foundation in order to succeed and provide lasting benefits for society.

The NFF established the Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge to encourage and reward innovative market-based solutions to natural resource issues affecting National Forests and Grasslands and stimulate entrepreneurial natural resource solutions to forest health challenges. The Challenge offers an interactive learning experience for interdisciplinary teams, as well as an opportunity to develop and launch new business ventures to address natural resource issues. It provides a unique opportunity to develop and implement investable ideas with tangible benefits for National Forests and Grasslands.

The Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge offers a $75,000 grand prize to the winning submission and a $25,000 prize to the first runner-up in the final stage of the competition. Through a multi-stage evaluation process, each team participating in the Challenge develops and articulates a market-based strategy and measurable objectives for addressing a natural resource issue affecting the U.S. National Forests and Grasslands. The business concept must reflect real opportunities and address financial, operational, and organizational aspects of implementation. The finalist teams will make presentations to the program’s review committee of distinguished natural resource professionals.

PRE-PROPOSAL DEADLINE: Monday, August 15, 2016 

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The Challenge is open to teams comprised of representatives from for-profit and nonprofit organizations, tribal entities, businesses, individuals and students, staff, or faculty at nationally accredited colleges and universities. Local, state, or federal governments are not eligible to apply. Also ineligible to apply are employees of local, state, or federal governments acting in their official capacity. Business ideas developed for the Challenge should be new and not substantially financed by others. Submissions should not replicate existing National Forest Foundation projects or programs.



Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students


Environmental & Life Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

August 15, 2016