The Goddard College Sustainability Entrepreneurs’ Grant is offered to a currently enrolled Goddard student in any program, undergraduate or graduate, who is starting or developing a business or nonprofit that offers solutions to local or global sustainability issues.

The goal of the grant program is to cultivate responsible action toward nature, society, and future generations by supporting the start-up or growth of a business or nonprofit that promotes sustainable living, social equity, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and ecological protection and restoration.

Each year, $2,500 will be awarded to the sustainability entrepreneur whose business promises to most successfully address these concerns.

The Goddard College Sustainability Entrepreneurs’ Grant is sponsored by generous donations from the Sustainable Future Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation and from Concept 2.

Criteria for Selection

Winners are selected based on the following criteria:

  • How successfully the business will promote the goals of the grant
  • How effectively the plan is articulated
  • The scope of impact the business will have
  • The applicant’s understanding of business development as demonstrated in the business plan
  • Quality of the letters of recommendation

The Application

Applications must be submitted electronically by January 15 of each year using the online grant application.

Applicants must submit a business plan that includes the following:

  • The name of the business.
  • Mission statement describing the ecological, social, and economic benefits of the business.
  • Marketing strategy.
  • Cash flow and profit projections for the first year of operation.
  • Additional sources and amounts of funding.
  • A webpage that describes the project.
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one letter must be from a mentor or associate in the business world who is familiar with your work; another may be from a Goddard faculty advisor).

To submit your materials, fill out the online grant application form.

(Students applying for a grant may include their business plan in their semester packet work.)

Review Committee

Applications are reviewed by:

  • Robert Kenny, Goddard College President
  • Bobby Buchanan, Goddard Faculty Member
  • Catherine Lowther, Goddard Faculty Member
  • Tim Maker, Renewable Energy Consultant
  • Avram Patt, Goddard College Trustee and Alumnus

Award Process

The winner will be announced by February 1. The award will be given in two parts: $1,250 will be given at the time of the announcement. On August 1, the student will provide a written progress report on how the award is being used to reach the sustainability goals. If the report is approved by the grant committee, the student will receive the remaining $1,250. The student will also present a workshop about the business at the fall residency.

Grant Recipients

2014: Cynthia Tina, a student in the BA in Sustainability Program and the Executive Director of NextGEN, USA in Shutesbury, Mass. See

2015: Rania Campbell-Cobb, a student in the MA in Social Innovation and Sustainability Program, and the Founder and Director of Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm in Philadelphia. See

2016: Sophia Maravell, a student in the MA in Education Program and the Founder of Ecología Rising in Potomac, Md. See:

2017: Luca Carpenter, a student in the BA in Education Program and the Co-Founder of Elements Preschool for Natural Learning in Ypsilanti, Mich. See:

For More Information

Catherine Lowther |
Goddard Undergraduate Program Faculty, Chair of the Goddard Sustainability Team