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Unleash entrepreneurship to tackle eco-challenges

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by Startacus Admin

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Green Entrepreneurship report reveals that most entrepreneurs believe the shift to a greener economy represents an opportunity for business and a boost for the economy

 

ochir-erdene-oyunmedeg-LmyPLbbUWhA-unsplashMost small and medium-sized businesses believe there are financial opportunities in the shift to a greener economy and that they personally can benefit from them, according to new Opinium polling commissioned for Green Entrepreneurship, a new report by The Entrepreneurs Network and the Enterprise Trust. The findings from the report challenge the historic assumption that pursuing sustainability is a hindrance to businesses and the economy.

It argues that harnessing the innovative products, ideas, and practices devised by Britain’s flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem will be critical to overcoming the environmental challenges facing the planet, while also providing an economic boost and positioning the UK at the forefront of the green growth sectors of the near future.

The survey reveals that businesses already have commercial as well as ethical incentives to ‘go green’. Entrepreneurs report that consumers and potential employees are seeking out green businesses. However, consumer and employee pressure alone will not be sufficient to meet major environmental challenges. The report argues that environmental problems are driven by market failures, where governments have not sufficiently made polluters bear responsibility for the full costs of their actions, nor sufficiently rewarded those who develop solutions to environmental challenges.

Meanwhile, equity investment is flowing into green businesses. Data from Beauhurst reveals that between 2015 and 2019 equity investment into startups described as ‘sustainable’ has more than trebled, while ‘environmental’ businesses saw a 94% increase in equity raised. 

photo-1600754285443-cd931f57f671Precision agriculture, which uses technologies such as drones to monitor crops to reduce pesticide and fertiliser use while increasing crop yields, has seen a 3,650% increase in funds raised over five years. Similarly, urban farming startups have seen a 540% increase in equity investments over the past five years. 

The report identifies 19 practical recommendations for the government to offer new incentives for entrepreneurs to create green products and for consumers to switch from polluting or unsustainable products whilst boosting the economy.

Eamonn Ives, author of the report, says: “If Britain truly wants to ‘build back better’, it cannot ignore the vital role that environmental entrepreneurs will have to play. Only by developing new products and ways of doing things can the economy bounce back, in a way which doesn’t harm the planet.

“To promote markets in sustainability, the Government must start both properly rewarding innovators, while clamping down on pollution and other forms of environmental degradation. Doing so would incentivise entrepreneurial activity in green solutions, and give British entrepreneurs a head start in the global race to succeed in the growth sectors of tomorrow.”

Helen Booth, Chief Executive Officer of the Enterprise Trust, says: “This report demonstrates unequivocally the critical role British entrepreneurs play in reducing our impact on the environment every day. The Government should be unrelenting in trying to harness the ingenuity of the UK’s environmentally-minded entrepreneurial community”.

 

 

 


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Published on: 30th October 2020

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