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Center for Sustainable Business | 2023 NYU Stern Sustainable Business Pitch Competition

2023 Sustainable Business Pitch Competiton
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2023 NYU Stern Sustainable Business Pitch Competition

Sponsored by Eddie Stern, CSB hosts NYU and Stern students for a pitch competition to create innovative solutions to expand the accessibility of healthy food options.

About the 2023 Competition

In the Spring 2023 NYU Stern Sustainable Business Pitch Competition, students developed business pitches for Dollar General to implement retail strategies that expand the range of healthy and sustainable food products offered in its New York stores that will help address food insecurity in surrounding communities. Competing for a $15,000 total prize purse, teams pitched proposals to persuade Dollar General to diversify its food offerings, including specific plans to address operational, marketing, and scaling challenges.

Lack of access to nutritious food is the leading cause of poor health in the United States. In New York State alone, 656,000 people live in food deserts, defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as low-income areas where a significant percentage of the population lives at least one mile away from a full-service grocery store in urban areas or ten miles in rural areas. Food deserts lack access to “fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods… largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.” Food deserts disproportionately affect minority communities: in Albany, for example, 95 percent of areas that are home to predominantly BIPOC residents are food deserts, as defined by the USDA’s Food Access Research Atlas.

In alignment with Dollar General's recent initiatives to align its sustainability initiatives with UN SDG Goal 2: Zero Hunger, student pitches aimed to leverage the convenience and affordability of Dollar General to expand the accessibility of healthy food options to these underserved communities.