Green businesses are booming. As people are finally becoming more environmentally conscious, more enterprises are adopting sustainability as their business model. Even better, more entrepreneurs are taking the initiative to kickstart their ecopreneurial business ideas. In fact, the number of green businesses is expected to increase exponentially in 2021.
Many industries are trying to curtail the spiking temperature due to climate change, but are seeing little progress. According to a report on climate change by the World Meteorological Organization, in China and parts of Europe, unusually long rainfall periods have caused massive floods, while Africa has entered another long drought for two consecutive years.
That’s why it is imperative for us to have more green businesses, so our convenience no longer harms the environment. For a greener 2022, here are eight ecopreneurial ideas, divided into three categories.
The last five years have seen a sharp rise in eco-friendly products. Research from last year points out that during the pandemic, there was a 71% rise in demand for eco-friendly goods worldwide. This is due to more people being aware of the negative effects of climate change, leading to them making a conscious choice to buy green products instead of conventional ones.
Eco-designed products are products or services made especially to adhere to the eco-friendly framework. This means the products aim to reduce the negative environmental impacts of the product or service over its life cycle.
Some good business ideas for eco-designed products are:
1. Organic catering
Those that focus on organic catering will provide organic food are organic catering businesses. Without chemicals like insecticides and fertilizers in them, organic food has been steadily gaining popularity, due to its being healthier than conventional options. In fact, organic food sales are the fastest-growing market in the US.
Just like an ordinary catering company, an organic catering company also serves to incorporate conventions, weddings, and other social events. However, a catering service that offers healthier food will likely stand out to the event organizers, especially those who care about the quality of the food.
2. Handmade all-natural/organic beauty products
Another ecopreneurial business niche on the rise is organic or all-natural beauty products. People are paying more attention to what they are putting on their skin. Instead of applying harsh chemicals to the skin, people are opting for less hazardous options. Since organic products are made from natural ingredients, they are less likely to harm users, even after long-term usage.
The natural beauty products niche is expected to reach a market cap of 37280 million USD in 2025. Since there are little-to-no chemicals in these products, their chemical waste on the environment is significantly less. Starting your own all-natural beauty brand is another way to tap into this fast-growing market while saving the environment.
3. Farmers market vendor
Have you ever wondered where high-end restaurants get their food from? To ensure the quality of their dishes, most restaurants get their food directly from local farms. This guarantees a fresh supply of seasonal, affordable, and local food.
For us, supermarkets or food stores traditionally act as the main means of getting food. However, this food is delivered from factory farms, which have been proven to be disastrous for climate change. That’s why farmers’ market vendors’ businesses are getting more traction. Not only does it reduce the space between organic and clean products, but it also promotes a sustainable alternative to factory farming.
The best thing about this business model is that it brings clean products from local farms directly to the people. It also works extremely well in tandem with organic catering services or organic restaurants, eliminating the need to shop at greenwashed retailers.
4. Secondhand stores
A secondhand store will sell any used items. Selling second-hand products, especially clothes, can significantly reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste in the environment.
This, in turn, lowers microplastic pollution in the oceans. Secondhand retail has grown by 69% from 2019 to 2021 and is expected to continue growing to 77 billion dollars in 2025. This is also a highly profitable business to invest in or branch out on your own this year.
An acronym for Environmental, Social, and (Corporate) Governance, ESG Investment is also known as an investment sector for socially responsible investors. Green investors incorporate their concerns and core values about the environment, human rights, etc. into selecting their investments.
As investors, you will need to screen your investments to determine whether their business goals are aligned with the current societal issues. A worthwhile investment sector for ecopreneurs, this sector had seen growth to 40 billion dollars from 2016 to 2020, and is expected to grow even faster from 2021 to 2025.
5. Green finance
Increasing financial flows from banking, micro-credit, insurance, and investment to promote sustainability is what defines green finance. Some examples include green bonds, green-tagged loans, green investment funds, and climate risk insurance. With green investment products amounting to $3.2 trillion in 2020, green finance is attracting more investors these days.
If you have a sharp instinct to snipe out the next big ecopreneurial business to invest in, green financing is definitely for you. While it is not different from playing angel investor, make sure that the sector you are investing in is actually doing good for the environment.
6. Eco-consulting or Green consulting
If angel investing is too risky a business for you, then step back and play eco-consultant for other green investors. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for eco-consultants will increase to 11% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations in the US.
As a booming ecopreneurial business, this is a promising sector to start your business in. With more ecopreneurs kickstarting their green businesses every year, there is never a shortage of business consulting firms, so why not try branching out into this niche as a green business consulting firm instead?
With people becoming more aware of the quick depletion and negative environmental impact of fossil fuels, the race to find a new renewable, affordable, and safe alternative is fiercer than ever.
With thermoelectricity no longer being available, hydroelectricity being destructive to the natural habitat, and nuclear power being too hazardous to the environment, renewable energy is the perfect answer, due to its safety and cheapness. This makes it another good option to start your business.
7. Solar panel installation
With strong and consistent growth, solar energy is now one of the most common sources of renewable energy. Due to a sharp increase in solar energy demand, with a prospect of a total of 125.2 gigawatts around the world in 2024, you can get a foothold as a solar panel installation company. This allows you to not only supply people with more chances to use the latest tech in clean energy but also profit from it.
Solar panels have long abandoned their ancient designs of looking flat and bleak. Thanks to Tesla being the pioneer in the solar panel business, solar panel roofs are now not only eco-friendly but also esthetically pleasing.
Similarly, you can venture into wind energy. Wind energy is efficient in regions with lots of wind. In fact, some of the world’s largest clean energy providers use wind energy to power their electricity turbines.
It is a niche market, but you can go into wind turbine installation if it is in high demand where you live, or if the region you live in is very windy. Alternatively, you could build your own wind farm to provide clean electricity in your area as an ecopreneurial business, for a price, of course.
Bonus: Net-zero emissions companies
If you are already running a successful business, but wish to go green, try committing your company to have net-zero emissions. By reducing your greenhouse gas emissions to zero, you are also benefiting the environment. Alternatively, you can think outside the box and start your own ecopreneurial business. Even the smallest ideas can contribute to offsetting the negative effects of climate change.
Starting a new eco-friendly business is no easy job. Check out an interview on one of the newest faces on the sustainable market to get an idea of what you need to start yours.