Food Solutions Challenge

The Food Solutions Challenge is a local event series and case competition that challenges today’s brightest minds to find solutions to pressing issues in food and agriculture.


Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development target 2.3, which states: “By 2030, [we aim to] double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, particularly women…”, this year’s challenge asks: How might we better enable female smallholder farmers to have access to the resources, agricultural know-how, and markets that will improve their livelihoods?


Supporting female smallholder farmers leads to numerous positive social impacts. Increased agricultural productivity leads to reduced hunger, increased incomes lead to better health and education for farmer’s families, and educating women is one of the best ways that we can positively impact climate change.

Sign-up for our 45-minute virtual training to learn more about how to compete in this year’s challenge.

Net Impact will provide you with the training, resources, and support to successfully develop solutions that impact female smallholder farmers worldwide.


Watch last year's winner's final submission video to see how your event can inspire ambitious projects that tackle critical issues!

ActiveIndividualIndividuals worldwideEvent stipend, toolkit, access to coaching & cash prizes for finalist teams
  • Individuals in any geographic location
  • Students and professionals
  • Must be able to host a 90-minute event that engages at least 25 people
  • Funding available by application
  • Hosts receive:
    • Event-in-a-box toolkit and event materials
    • Net Impact training and support
    • 200 Gold status points for Net Impact chapters
  • Challenge finalists receive:
    • Virtual Net Impact Accelerator that includes personalized, multi-month expert coaching to hone your solutions
    • $10,000 grand prize, $2,500 and $1,000 to runners-up. 
  • Pre-Event:
    • Secure a date and space for your event
    • Receive training from Net Impact HQ to help you facilitate a successful event
    • Identify 1-2 facilitators
    • Recruit 25 participants 
  • January 15 - May 1, 2020
    • Host your event
  • May 1, 2020
    • Deadline to submit solutions
  • May - July 2020
    • Finalist teams participate in the Virtual Net Impact Accelerator where they will receive personalized, multi-month expert coaching to hone their solutions
    • Final video submission creation
  • August 14, 2020
    • Winners announced
  • What is my role? What are you asking me to do?
    • Your role is to be the event host. The event host is expected to plan, market, and host a Food Solutions event on your campus or in your community. You can do this solo or, even better, with a team! Net Impact staff will train you during a 1-hour welcome webinar where we will walk you through all of the event materials and ensure you are prepared to host a successful event. We estimate that it takes 12-14 hours of preparation time to host a successful event. This time can be spread out among multiple team members.
  • What is the facilitator's role? Do I have to be the facilitator?
    • Facilitators will lead the event and support everyone to do their best thinking. The facilitator can be you (the event host), a team member, faculty, or another individual. The facilitator does not need to be a subject matter expert as Net Impact will provide you with everything you need to successfully facilitate the event. But the facilitator should be someone who is comfortable with public speaking and has time to review the challenge materials. The facilitator will present the 30-minute PowerPoint a the start of the event. Net Impact provides you the PPT, which is an outline of the complex issues that this challenge will cover, as well as a framework for the design thinking ideation. Facilitators are welcome to use the PPT as-is or edit it to resonate with their audience more closely. 
  • Are the event materials ready? I want to see them before I commit to hosting.
    • Net Impact staff are finalizing the event materials. They will be ready in late 2019.
  • You keep talking about hosting an event. But what is the event format?
    • The event is broken into two main parts. First, facilitators will present a 30-minute PowerPoint provided by Net Impact. Then event participants will break into small groups to work together for ~60 minutes to ideate solutions that will solve the challenge statement. After the event, participants submit their ideas to the Food Solutions Challenge via the Net Impact website. Solutions must be submitted to the challenge in order to be in the running for the grand prizes. 
  • What are the solutions? Where are they tuned in? And how will they be judged?
    • Solutions are 500 words or less and turned in via the Net Impact website. The link to submit solutions is only available to those who attend an event. Solutions will be judged according to a rubric that will be made available with the event materials. 
  • Are submissions turned in as a team? Or can I turn in a submission as an individual? Are event hosts eligible to turn in solutions?
    • Submissions must come from teams of 2-4 people. Unfortunately, submissions from teams outside of the 2-4 person size limit are not eligible. Event hosts are encouraged to form their own team and submit a solution.
  • How many teams will be selected as finalists?
    • The number of finalist teams will be determined during judging based on the strength of submissions. Historically, 4-6 teams are selected as finalists.
  • Do I have to host or attend a Food Solutions event in order to participate?
    • The short answer is yes! You have to either attend a live event or one of a few select virtual events to be eligible to participate. For more information on upcoming virtual or local events in your area, please contact us at
Individuals worldwideJanuary to April 2020Open to AllSponsored by Bayer and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development