Save $, Save a Piece of Paper

I have been coming across some devastating statistics on office paper waste in the U.S. Did you know: The typical office worker uses about 10,000 sheets (20 reams) of paper per year. A typical office discards almost 350 pounds of paper per employee each year. About 1 trillion sheets of paper are used for digital printers and copiers in the U.S. each year. The average document gets copied 19 times. The waste of time and money is mind boggling. But,…

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More on Creative Financing for Green Businesses

I noticed that an old post (from January) has been getting a lot of views, so I thought I should revisit the topic of self-funding your green start up. One way to fund your business without raising money is to find alternate (possibly just, interim) revenue streams other than your primary desired business model. For example, if you want to be a green retailer, you might start out as a match-maker/dealer, connecting buyers and sellers for a fee or markup…

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How to Pitch Your Green Business to a Venture Capital Firm or Other Investor

In my last post I talked about the pitch-to-pitch, that is, how to even get a potential investor to listen to your pitch for funding your green business. In this post, I’m going to assume you have a good plan for networking and outreach to venture capital firms and/or angel investors. The next question is how to distill all of the supporting points for your tremendous chances for success into one paragraph or a brief conversation. If you are like…

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How to Get an Investor to Even Listen to Your Business Idea

In past posts, we’ve covered how to write a business plan and even how to pitch a professional investor such as a venture capitalist. However, there is a missing step between those two activities, which an Ecopreneurist reader wrote in to ask about, and that is: How do you even get an investor to return your call (or email)? Although this answer is an over-simplification, I’ll recommend to you: Personal Contact. A few days ago, a venture capitalist told me…

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Countdown to the California Clean Tech Open

Looking for a ten thousand-fold return on your investment? For just $250 and the time it takes to complete a three-page application, you could be the next $100,000 winner of the California Clean Tech Open. Just be sure to submit your bright idea by midnight on June 14th. Clean Tech Call for Entries “The California Clean Tech Open is unique among business plan competitions: it seeks entries from professionals, scientists and students alike; focuses solely on clean technology; and […]…

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Strategies of Abundance for Green Business Ecopreneurs: Part 3

This is the final post related to Strategies of Abundance for green business ecopreneurs. The first two addressed how banks have a stranglehold on our lives (Part 1). Part 2 addresses the KISS principle (keep it small stupid), relocalization movement, and thriving on natural capital. Following are a few more strategies we’ve employed, like many other ecopreneurs. Strategy # 5: Enough Is Enough A key facet for many small business ecopreneurs is the recognition of living within our ecological and…

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Strategies of Abundance for Green Business Ecopreneurs: Part 2

This is the second post related to Strategies of Abundance for small business ecopreneurs. My first post addressed why paying the bank is often an unwise decision. Strategy # 2: KISS Principle: Keep It Small Stupid While the mantra today might be get big or get out, be a millionaire or — for the more socially responsible — “getting to scale” without losing the values the business was founded upon, we’ve discovered the more human-scaled our operations and practices, the…

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Venture Capital Meets Slow Money at Investors’ Circle Conference

Fast money and fast movers. These are the phrases that come to mind when entrepreneurs talk about venture capital as a potential source of funding. But what if the flow of funds slowed down…way down? The Next Generation of Sustainable Capital The Investors’ Circle spring conference attempted to answer that question during a lively breakout session entitled “Slow Money: New Strategies for Investing in Local Food Systems.” Attended by reps from next generation investors such as SJF Ventures, Transformative Capital,…

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“Strategies of Abundance” for Green Business Ecopreneurs: First, Stop Paying the Banker

This is the first of several posts describing “Strategies of Abundance” for ecopreneurs and green business owners. Even in financially tough times, these Strategies of Abundance reflect interrelationships between personal finance and business, especially for small business owners. The key for ecopreneurs is how they use their business to make the world a better place. Profits from a green enterprise are the catalyst for ecopreneurs to achieve their Earth Mission, whether to restore ecological integrity or make photovoltaic systems affordable…

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