How to Approach a Venture Capital Firm with Your Eco Business

First of all, don’t worry about the business plan. I realize that sounds like crazy advice coming from a business consultant. However, I have seen too many entrepreneurs stalled or stressed when trying to write up a business plan when the plan really is not the critical issue. Many green business ventures that would be of interest to venture capital firms are in the cleantech, new materials, information technology, and life science spaces. If you are an ecopreneur with an…

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Green Dreams: Inspiration From Green Design Businesses

In life, as in business, it’s important to have role models. Having people to look up to and guide you along in your career is one key to success. Admiring other businesses can help you understand the market and your competition, and can give you ideas for your own business. Now, since I need a little motivation and inspiration while starting my green design studio, I present a smattering of my business role models in the field of green graphic…

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Idea Blob: An Infectious Way to Fund Your Green Business

If you’re like many ecopreneurists out there, you have a great idea or three cooking on the back burner right now, that could be a full fledged company, or perhaps a powerfully beneficial invention. And you think, with a little financial push and a lot of advice, it could really do something, becoming more then doodles on a napkin. Or perhaps you’re already up and running (like crazy) and some extra eyes, ears to help finesse what you’ve got going…

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What Should An Eco Entrepreneur Do When The Big Boys Go Green?

Recent headlines may give eco entrepreneurs a reason to worry! Clorox Launches Greenworks Organic Brands Bought Up by Large Corporations In fact some of the bigger independent players in the natural and organic arena are doing just that according to a recent NY Times article. “The whole landscape is shifting, and I think everyone is struggling to redefine their strategy in the midst of huge change that ain’t finished,” said Jeffrey Hollender, the president of Seventh Generation, which makes nontoxic…

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Stagflation: Green Businesses Preserve more Green when the Going Gets Tough

I, for one, don’t remember the stagflation of the 1970s. It was a time when prices were increasing at the gas pump and grocery store, and when the economy sputtered along with little or no growth. Some neighbors saw their wages flatten — or their jobs disappear altogether. Gold, often seen as a barometer of economic confidence, was at an all time high (adjusted for inflation). I was pre-teen in a comfty Detroit suburb with a father who worked at…

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Green Business Founded on Desire to Meld Beauty with Social Responsibility

I recently had the chance to talk with the co-founder of VivaTerra, Bonnie Trust Dahan, about her motivation to found the catalog- and online-retailer of high-design, green products. Dahan had authored three books on interior design and headed merchandising and/or branding for major retailers including Banana Republic and Smith & Hawken. However, it was her personal shopping preferences that made her want to market beautiful products made from organic, recycled, and renewable sources. I have noticed that a number of…

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Green Dreams: Resources for Green Business Planning

Welcome back to Green Dreams! This is my second post in a series following my journey starting a green graphic design firm. Go back to post #1 to get the full scoop. Before you start a business of any kind, there is a lot of planning and research to be done. If you do your homework, you will have a better chance at getting your business off the ground. Unfortunately for designers, business classes usually aren’t a required part of…

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Bio Based Lubricants: Not Just for Sex Any More

A few years back, while I was still a student at Presidio School of Management, this vivacious, crazy eyed scientist came and told us about the biolubricants that his company WISE Solutions had been working on. My mind of course went to, shall we say, personal lubricants, and I began to tune out. But it turned out to be much different. You see, they were working on plant based lubricants, to be used (at the time) in vehicles. He shared…

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Eco Book Review: The Power of Unreasonable People

Business books by and about eco-entrepreneurs are all the rage these days. Biographies of newly famous entrepreneurs vie with “How to” books on greening your business to get your attention. The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World, by John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan, takes a slightly different tack and explores how altruistically minded people operate a bit differently in the business arena than typical entrepreneurs. Published by Harvard Business Press, this book reminded…

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