You are here: Home Learning & Resources Learning Opportunities Student Impact Opportunities Walmart Better Living Business Plan Challenge

Walmart Better Living Business Plan Challenge

Student business plan competition with $20,000 $10,000 and $5,000 prizes. Students or faculty can sign up. Regional finalists will compete at the Walmart home office in Bentonville, Arkansas.

You've got a breakthrough idea for solar energy production in developing countries. You know your plan to distribute organic produce to inner city neighborhoods would take off if you could find the right backer. You've been telling anyone who will listen about your model for a municipal gray water distribution system. Whatever your idea for making an impact might be, maybe it's time to make it real.

Walmart believes that today's businesses must take into account not only the profit potential of a new venture or product, but also the effect it has on the environment and on people. The Walmart Better Living Business Plan Challenge provides a forum for students to take their idea for a sustainable product or business solution and make that idea a reality.

Why compete?

Students vie for the unprecedented opportunity to present their business plan to a panel of Walmart executives, suppliers, and environmental organizations. Competitors develop confidence, hone their ideas, receive feedback and constructive coaching from business experts, and can even earn seed money to help launch their business:

  • Grand Prize: $20,000
  • First Prize: $10,000
  • Second Prize: $5,000
  • All semi-finalists receive a stipend for travel, hotel, and meals
  • Pitch your idea to some of the top business and sustainability leaders in the United States
    2014 Challenge Timeline
    • Feb. 21, 2014: Regional challenges at George Washington University and Southern Company
    • Feb. 28, 2014: Regional challenges at University of Louisville, NYU, University of Chicago, and UC Davis
    • March 7, 2014: Regional challenge at Boston University
    • March 10, 2014: One semifinalist team selected from each regional competition
    • April 9-11, 2014: Final round in Bentonville, Ark.

    Official rules

    See the 2013 Winners

    University of Michigan

    University of Michigan walked away with the $20,000 grand prize with Covaron, an advanced material that can outperform high-grade engineering ceramics for a fraction of the cost.


    MIT was named the first place winner and received $10,000 for Takachar, a company that converts trash in Mombasa, Kenya into low-emission charcoal briquettes that are then used for cooking fuel.