National Forest Foundation

Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge


The Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge is a competition to encourage and reward innovative market-based solutions to natural resource issues affecting National Forests and Grasslands and to stimulate entrepreneurial natural resource solutions to forest health challenges. It provides a unique opportunity to develop and implement investable ideas with tangible benefits for National Forests and Grasslands. It offers an opportunity to develop and launch new business ventures to address natural resource issues.


To develop and launch market-based solutions that satisfy multiple goals of forest health, sustainable use, and economic development, including job creation.

To stimulate creative thinking to address problems and identify opportunities that benefit the National Forests and Grasslands.

To encourage design and develop interdisciplinary approaches to address complex natural resource challenges.

The Award

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 pre-proposal/full proposal 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. Click here for the 2015 Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge announcement.


Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge is national in scope and there are no geographic priorities.


The NFF typically holds one nationally competitive round each year.

Pre-Proposal Deadline

A 2016 grant round is under consideration, but has not been finalized. Sign up for our listserv to be notified about upcoming opportunities.


The Challenge is open to teams comprised of representatives from for-profit and nonprofit organizations, tribal entities, 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.

Application Process

Eligibility Questionnaire

To proceed in the application process, complete the Barrett Challenge Eligibility questionnaire. Submission instructions can be accessed upon successful completion of the eligibility questionnaire.

Electronic Application

Applications submission is via an electronic submission process. Submission instructions can be accessed upon successful completion of the eligibility questionnaire.

Funding Type

The Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge awards private funds from the Craig and Barbara Barrett Foundation.

Contact information

If you have questions not answered on this website or in the Announcement and Guidelines, please contact Adam Liljeblad, Director, Conservation Awards at 406.830.3357 or