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Cardinal Quarter

Bay Area Climate Justice Fellowships 2022: Building food security and community resilience through the launch of a nursery start up business

Environmental Sustainability, 
Socio-Economic Prosperity

About the organization

Valley Verde is dedicated to building healthy and resilient communities by providing low-income families educational programs, edible gardens, and micro-entrepreneurship opportunities that create food security and lead to self-sufficiency. We accomplish this by providing home garden supplies, monthly gardening workshops, mentorship, and garden visits to address the needs of food access and insecurity in the community.

Valley Verde is seeking to launch its nursery as a first to market start-up business. This effort will be integral to Valley Verde’s strategy to activate the local economy and develop sustainable income sources for community members, while helping to build a sustainable and just food system. Valley Verde is seeking a passionate business leader to serve as fellow in Summer 2022 in support of this goal.   

This summer fellowship will provide a unique opportunity to directly apply business skills and take a leadership role in the context of a dynamic and growing social enterprise. 

About the opportunity

The summer fellow will work closely with the Valley Verde director to creatively build out and implement Valley Verde’s business plan. You will develop marketing and sales strategies and promote the nursery’s brand in the Bay Area to our target audience group. The following is a list of the aspects of the business plan you may work on, depending upon need and your own background and interests. Overall, Valley Verde will be looking to you to lead and grow this start-up to maximize impact. 

  • Products & Services: Valley Verde’s nursery currently has seedling subscriptions and an online marketplace for our main product of culturally appropriate seedlings. You would support expanding uptake of these products and potentially identify new products and services that Valley Verde might implement in the future.

  • Market Analysis: this may include analysis of demand in the target market, the competitive landscape including first-to-market, contributing to Valley Verde’s sales & marketing strategy, and identifying sales and distribution channels.                  

  • Seedling Business Capitalization: this might include conducting a break-even analysis, financial modeling (5-year sales forecast and return on investment), required sales to achieve financial sustainability, and a risk analysis and contingency plan.

Preferred qualifications

Valley Verde is particularly interested in applicants with the following qualifications. Please describe in your application which of these you can bring to the role:

  • Enrollment in an MBA degree preferred. Advanced undergraduates who bring relevant academic background in business and practical experience in business settings will also be considered.

  • Bilingual desired - please indicate which language(s) in your application

  • This is a start-up business in a highly competitive environment therefore requires confidence, creativity, and a strong work ethic.

  • Must be detail oriented

  •  Experience working in a multiethnic community environment 

  •  Ability to develop professional relationships with vendors regardless of language barriers, cultural differences, or physical/mental abilities 

  • Must be able to work independently and collaboratively in a team, show creativity, and ability to initiate and complete projects with limited supervision 

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills required

  • Excellent computer skills in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Suite and Canva

  • Understands the importance of organizational positioning strategies months and years in advance

  • Enjoys the work and brings commitment and passion for engaging with the community and bringing about change.


Students in 2-year Masters program will receive a stipend of $7,500. Undergraduate and coterm students will receive a base stipend of $5,500 to support living expenses during the fellowship, following the Cardinal Quarter Program stipend policies. Financial aid and supplemental funding may be available to students who qualify (learn more here).


This is a full-time, 9-week opportunity during Summer 2022, starting no later than July 5, 2022. Masters students at the Graduate School of Business are preferred, but other 2-year Masters students, advanced undergraduates and coterm students from all academic disciplines will also be considered. Priority will be given to students who have completed fewer than two previous Cardinal Quarter opportunities. Graduating students are welcome to apply, but may receive lower priority. 

Please review our program policies for complete eligibility requirements. 

Additional Fellowship Requirements

This opportunity is associated with Partnerships for Climate Justice in the Bay Area (PCJ in the Bay), an initiative to build equitable climate change solutions by supporting partnerships between Stanford students, faculty and Bay Area community leaders. Fellows are expected to participate in cohort activities with other PCJ in the Bay Fellows. 

Additional requirements include:

Spring 2022:

  • Complete an online program orientation.

  • Complete Engaging in Ethical and Effective Service workshop or worksheet.

  • Design a personal learning plan and share the learning plan with site supervisor and academic mentor.

During the Summer 2022 fellowship:

  • Submit a brief preliminary report.

  • Submit a final report, complete a program evaluation, and correspond with fellowship donor(s) as requested by fellowships program staff.

  • Attend one or more PCJ in the Bay Fellows cohort sessions (more information will be shared about these events in spring quarter)

Fall 2022:

  • Participate in outreach activities to share the experience and help publicize the program




United States


February 1, 2022 | 11:59 PM
* This Application Deadline has passed

Open To

Graduate Students

Offered By

Haas Center for Public Service
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