Fall 2012 – Ever thought of starting your own company that helps the environment?
Turns out that there are numerous opportunities for becoming an environmental entrepreneur.
According to the New Venture World Resources Institute, an environmental entrepreneur uses “the principles of entrepreneurship to solve environmental problems through market-based solutions.” This is one way to enter into the sustainable business field. However, it requires drive, dedication and creativity.
Furthermore, beginning a startup company can involve substantial risk, but the key to being successful, according to FORBES magazine, can be found in nine steps. The steps I found most relevant were—to be a master of change (meaning be adaptable to a changing market), learn to sell, be unique, be educated in your field or find someone who is, understand the importance of money and how to utilize it in your company, and understand your industry.
So how can we apply this to becoming an environmental entrepreneur? Obviously this industry lies in a very niche market, meaning we will appeal to consumers who are environmentally conscious. The basics of having proper financial knowledge is crucial to keep a company going during the ups and downs of running a business (so perhaps a finance background would be a good start).
I think the most difficult aspect of becoming an entrepreneur is creating your idea or product. Some questions you may want to ask yourself include: what makes your product or service unique? Why do people want to buy your product or service? Is your product sustainable or would you rather donate to a sustainable cause? Most importantly, how do you get people to purchase your product or service? These questions are difficult to answer, but they are a good start when brainstorming ideas for a company.
If environmental entrepreneurship interests you, I encourage you to visit http://www.e2.org, which according to their website represents a “national community of business leaders who promote sound environmental policy that builds economic prosperity. E2 is the independent business voice for the environment.” This website provides a lot of information on environmental entrepreneurship, sustainable companies, and other successful entrepreneurs.
I hope that many of you readers consider starting your own environmental company. Sustainability issues are becoming more and more important and it will take innovative and creative thinkers to come up with new ways to conduct business. Although it may be a challenging field to enter, there are plenty of success stories, and who knows, any of us could be the next.