Leah Edwards

A strategy and marketing consultant, Leah enjoys highlighting the efforts of, and providing information for, social entrepreneurs. In her consulting practice, she works with cause-related businesses and enlightened investors--to see people succeed at doing good for the planet and local communities while doing good for themselves.

How to Finance a Green Business

We received an email last week from an inventor in upstate New York, who has designed a green product that she wants to bring to market, and she would like some ideas of how she can raise money to manufacture and market the product. I am going to present several ideas for financing a green business startup, not all of which may be perfect for her situation, but which are generally options for ecoentrepreneurs. Please comment on this post if…

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How to Green Your Business, Free

This is not exactly advance notice, but tomorrow evening the Small Business Administration in San Francisco is offering a free workshop called “Running & Operating a ‘Green’ Business”. The reason I even bother noting such a last-minute event is that the SBA often repeats popular workshops, and it offers similar programs in different cities. You might want to check out the SBA schedule in your area. The description of the event in San Francisco is certainly compelling for business owners…

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Get Started With Your New Green Business, No Matter How Small the Start

Revolution Foods is a fascinating start up — a for-profit company focused on a public health issue (obesity), in a highly regulated “industry” (meals served in schools), with venture capital funding. When I heard that co-founder and CEO Kristin Groos Richmond was going to speak about the founding of her green company, I had to go hear how she got the idea, how she got Whole Foods to become a partner before Revolution Foods was even off the ground, and…

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Sustainable Shopping in Portland, Part 2

Although Portland-based Sameunderneath is a sustainable clothing line, the Company has a broader social-enterprise mission beyond a concern for the environment. On the website, founder Ryan Christensen says, “Sameunderneath’s mission is to change the way people look at each other.” Over eight years ago, he started the Company by selling t-shirts, and now sells a sophisticated clothing line in Sameunderneath’s own stores as well as many other retail outlets. You can see from several years’ of press coverage, that Sameunderneath…

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How to Start a Green Business without Raising Money

When I had the chance to interview Beth Gerstein, co-founder of Brilliant Earth, I first wanted to ask her how they raised the money to start the company. I figured that retailing gold, platinum and diamond jewelry had to be a capital-intensive business and thought Beth could shed light on how a green entrepreneur can convince investors that there is a large market for products that are sustainably produced. However, I got a very different story. Brilliant Earth has been…

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2008 Acterra Business Environmental Awards Applications Due January 25th

First a disclaimer, this post is targeted toward entrepreneurs and employees of companies in Northern California–specifically people working in Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, or Santa Cruz Counties. The nonprofit organization Acterra is soliciting applications for its annual Business Environmental awards, which are open to businesses, government organizations, and in certain cases, nonprofit organizations. If you know of similar awards for organizations outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, please let us know by commenting below. Looking…

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Organic Lotions Go Glam & Luxurious

It goes without saying that green is big these days. Within walking distance of my home there are three “eco-friendly” clothing boutiques, a “green home” shop and a billboard advertising green home cleaners. All have gone up in the last year. Ecopreneurists are birthing all sorts of green businesses, which is great to see. As happy as I am to see all of these green youngsters on the block, it does my heart a lot of good to see green…

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Green and China–Who would know that’s a good business opportunity?

Here’s a creative business idea: pair U.S. and British television producers and an environmentalist with a Chinese documentarian and environmental activists and government official to come up with a television series for the Chinese market funded by U.S. investors. U.S. production company, Landreth Associates, is working with the Chinese CCTV Economic Movie and Television Center and The International Cultural Exchange Audiovisual Publishing House (an agency of the Chinese Ministry of Culture), on what is to be a weekly documentary television…

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Less is More: A Truly Green Good is Packaged Green

We all know that good things come in small packages, but small packages are good in their own right. Less filler, fewer layers of packaging for each product, smaller packages to increase the amount of any product can be shipped on one truck or ship are conservation best-practices. But we consumers are used to slick packaging and cool bags, boxes and wrappers. Designers are now challenged to come up with high-concept packaging that doesn’t waste resources. It’s like Project Runway…

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