If you want to start a green business…

We spoke to Bhakti Devi who steers this programme at The Foundation for mentoring ecopreneurs. She spent two decades in Australia; first did her Masters in engineering in the mid-1990s, went on to do her doctoral in urban water supply about a decade ago, and worked with the Sydney water utility for many years. Her work with start-ups, particularly in the area of water innovation and technologies, offered her simple but startling insights into the nature of this beast called entrepreneurship. She returned to India in 2016 with the firm intent to help in grooming green enterprise, and doing all she can to overcome the massive water and sanitation challenge before the country. Read on … 

EcoPreneur is an incubator and business accelerator for entrepreneurs who are working on ventures that seek to impact environment and society by solving problems that matter.

If you want to be a green entrepreneur, EcoPreneur will help you with the ‘ABCD’ of venture creation to help turn your eco venture idea into a profitable and scalable enterprise with confidence.

The ‘ABCD’ of it …

  • Apply the latest and “must know” tools and techniques in developing your eco-venture
  • Become competent and confident in the knowledge and skills necessary for bringing any business idea into its full potential for making profit and impact.
  • Connect with other ecopreneurs, customers, experts to get ideas / feedback on your product / service
  • Design your product through mentoring and coaching that gives you access to the right experts on a regular basis first, and on a need-to-know basis after.

Who is EcoPreneur for

EcoPreneur can help you if you are —

  • thinking of starting a new green venture, but haven’t taken the first step
  • running a start-up now that could iterate/grow/scale faster
  • looking to create the conditions for lean innovation for social and environmental impact inside a big company

The Big Why of EcoPreneur

Nearly five years ago, I was intrigued by stories of numerous entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley taking an idea and implementing it into a highly successful and profitable business model in a short span of 6-12 months. I kept thinking: What has made a risk-ridden process of developing a new venture so attractive and doable that seemingly inexperienced young people are taking the plunge and consistently coming out winners. Was it the Silicon Valley? Was it their youthful energy? Was it the sole drive of these young individuals?

As I further researched, I realized that not just the Silicon Valley, almost the entire world had been taken by the storm of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs came in all shapes and sizes: young men and women, people in their 50s and 60s, young 12- & 14-year-olds as well as the not so literate; even housewives had been empowered to translate their passion and ideas into profitable ventures. Age and profession were really irrelevant in this amazing world of venture creation!

The moment of reckoning…

But the moment of reckoning came when I discovered the wonderful world of Business Incubators and Accelerators – Start-up hubs providing an entire ecosystem (comprising the best mentors, guides, experts, other fellow entrepreneurs and angle investors) for the growth of the entrepreneur with an idea and willingness to do all that it takes and help them turn it into a profitable business. So, it was not just the drive of the entrepreneur!

Six Secrets

So taken I was by these new agents of change in the form of start-up hubs and incubators that I became part of them and started to participate in their networking, sharing and experiential learning activities. As I became more and more active in these hubs, I learnt some powerful secrets behind the start-up movement that is here to stay as it enables every individual to become an agent of change and infuses in them the power to make transformation that is scalable:

  1. New ventures are not the same as an established business. Yet many (in their ignorance) tend to apply the same way of thinking and process to developing the new venture. In doing so, they end up wasting lot of money time and resources, and worse feeling lost!
  2. The entrepreneurship has been turned to science and a fine art by taking the guesswork out of it. It is a totally learn-able science as it can be learned by anyone who has an idea and has the hunger and drive to see it translate into a business.
  3. What has enabled the removing of guesswork are powerful frameworks, methods and approaches that have been developed, are openly available and therefore widely used by successful entrepreneurs.
  4. Going out and talking to potential customers even before building the product/service and continuing to engage with them during the venture development process is at the heart of de-risking the game of entrepreneurship.
  5. “Lean Start-Up” approach that informs the customer engagement is fundamentally an evidence-based approach to venture development while ensuring there is minimum wastage of time, money (hence the word ‘Lean’) and effort while developing a successful model and template on which you can grow and scale your business idea once you have proven the concept.
  6. Evidence-based process is one of the key ingredients that builds confidence for funding agencies and investors when they evaluate ventures.

EcoPreneur champions this new entrepreneurial movement and would hopes to help as many ecopreneurs seeking to make an impact on social and environmental fronts.

3 Key Ingredients

All ecopreneurs owe it to themselves and the world that they take the following critical actions to ensure that they become confident in investing her valuable time and resources to turn their green idea into a successful eco-enterprise….

  1. They learn the “lean approach” by doing
  2. They surround themselves with mentors and coaches with diverse expertise
  3. They achieve maximum from minimum risk and least input of time, money and resources by applying the lean start-up tools

However, it is almost impossible for an ecopreneur to do all of the above – all by themselves especially when they have a full time job and are busy working at their venture. And yet if they didn’t do it, they are at a high risk of wasting their time, money and resources. EcoPreneur helps ecopreneurs take action on these three key ingredients that can guarantee them a confident and smooth journey towards turning their eco-venture into a profitable business.

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