Do you have what it takes to become an “Ecopreneur”?

This is a guest post by Claire Lourens

Let’s face it. We are killing ourselves.

Gone are the days of concern over Shark fin soup and Global Warming. We have now escalated ourselves to a whole new level entirely! As if we didn’t have enough on our plates, the high rate of unemployment in our beautiful country has reared its ugly head once again in 2017. Youngsters have a choice: eat or be eaten. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. We have needs and issues. But what if we addressed these problems in an entirely different manner altogether?

Many can attest to the fact that taking the entrepreneurial route is no small feat. In addition to this, where Conservation was once the domain of bunny huggers and extreme environmentalists; it is now explored by technical innovators all over the world – on a conscious or subconscious level on a daily basis. These “green innovators” are the driving force behind the sustainability of natural resources combined with a fierce interest and natural tendency to move forward into a more technically savvy society. Think efficient resources. Alternative energy sourcing. Organic consumerism. The list is endless.

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Globally, like-minded people are coming together in the hopes of creating a greener economic model.  A well – known Chinese proverb states that “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the next best time is now”.

Never mind the birds and the bees. GoDésana does it, Swisscom are doing it. A whole lot of SME’s in Namibia are doing it. The results are astounding. It is estimated that around 150 000 job opportunities are currently created by these smaller “green” business enterprises and the contribution towards this African country’s socio-economic growth is massive. In South Africa, a myriad of incentive and awards programs offer donations to environmental programs. Today, a young entrepreneur may decide to source and advertise recyclable building materials on a small scale. Tomorrow he is working for the Green Building Council, reducing CO2 emissions and eliminating excess waste disposal and unnecessary energy consumption practices.

 

So what can YOU as an “Ecopreneur” do?

  • Cater for local events using organic produce and eco-friendly foods and ingredients at the same time ensuring composting of waste products
  • Open an eco-friendly beauty salon using products such as natural shampoos and vegan soaps
  • Interested in planning events and trips? Become an ecotourism planner offering trips to seldom-seen destinations.
  • Become a freelance writer and write “green” articles for a captive audience!
  • Get involved in environmental programs for children creating awareness of our precious resources or design a “Green” app focusing on the various aspects of green living

 

Fancy yourself to be a foodie? Growing your own organic vegetables, herbs and produce may just be the way to go considering our obsession with healthy foods, alternative healing practices and reduced cancer risks. The trick is to make it financially viable without blowing your potential customers’ budget.

Not to be taken lightly, being an entrepreneur is difficult and calls for due respect. Being an “ecopreneur” is even harder. Planning, funding and product advertising – is it all worth it? Yes! If consciously addressing an environmental or social need through the realization and most importantly action of entrepreneurial ideas that have positive effects on the natural environment and are simultaneously financially stable. Sound likes a lot of common sense to me.

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