We all know that person. She works her desk job dutifully, all the while lamenting her lack of freedom to start her dream green business. Whether it’s an organic restaurant locavores would love, an eco-friendly landscape design firm, or a nifty clean tech application that needs to be created and marketed, she’s in love with her idea and the fantasy of owning her own company. She doesn’t know how to really get started but she’s pretty sure it would fly… and bolster the green economy at the same time.
Aspiring eco-entrepreneurs represent a vast and untapped resource that can help drive the economy away from oil spills and towards a sustainable future. Helping them get started, my company, GreenBusinessOwner.com, is offering a Social Entrepreneur Boot Camp August 21-22nd in San Francisco. Aspiring entrepreneurs can come in with an idea and walk out with a well-developed plan, the tools and templates they need to set the plan in action, and a year’s membership on GreenBusinessOwner.com to support them during their launch. The agenda for the two-day intensive workshop (below) will allow attendees to work on their business model for an entire weekend, part by part, directly with experts in the small, green business community. This week, we announced a scholarship for one aspiring eco-entrepreneur with a great idea and a demonstrable financial need to attend the boot camp for free. Instructions for entry are below, so consider sending this article to that aspiring entrepreneur you know. The workshop agenda is as follows (free triple-certified coffee and yoga breaks included)…
Boot Camp Agenda:
Day 1–Saturday August 21st
* The life of a green business owner — Realistic expectations and testimonials from veteran eco-entrepreneurs
* The most common mistakes entrepreneurs make, and how to avoid them
* What does it mean to incorporate sustainability into your corporate DNA?
* Personal toolkit for success — Habits of successful entrepreneurs
* Overview of free legal, advisory, and other resources available for entrepreneurs
* Building your team and support network, including how to recruit, engage, and retain a dynamite Advisory Board
* Understanding exit strategies and partnership agreements
* Breakout Session: Product/Service Clarity and Marketing Focus Exercise
* Conducting market research and a needs assessment — How to determine what your customers want, when, how, and for how much
* Business plan — Step-by-step sustainable business planning made painless
* Breakout Session: Identifying gaps in your knowledge
Day 2–Sunday August 22nd
* Project planning and management workshop
* Breakout Session: Create your project plan using our planning template
* Introduction to business communications and marketing for your small, green business
* Breakout Session: Fill in a marketing plan worksheet template and receive feedback
* Overview of methods for financing your small, green business
* Overview of legal and accounting checklist for startups
* Peer presentations of business ideas, with feedback from peers and industry experts
Workshop attendees will also receive a flash drive with a powerful toolkit of resources for eco-entrepreneurs, developed by GreenBusinessOwner.com staff:
* Financial Projection Spreadsheet (Template)
* Crafting an Effective Elevator Pitch (Document)
* Marketing Plan (Template)
* Business Plan (Template)
* Conducting market research and a needs assessment (Manual)
* Creating a Dynamic Advisory Board (Document)
* Project Planning Tool (Interactive Graphical Tool)
GreenBusinessOwner.com will also work with the attendees for one round of revision on the attendee’s business plan after the workshop is over, and attendees will receive one year’s premium membership on the website for ongoing support.
To enter the contest for a free pass to the Boot Camp, please visit the contest page on GreenBusinessOwner.com, and submit your materials by July 15th!
Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and proprietor of GreenBusinessOwner.com.