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Starting Green - Green Ecopreneur's Toolkit, by Glenn Croston, Ph.D.

Every job can be a greener job that provides personal health and community benefits.

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An Ecopreneur's Toolkit for Starting a Green Business

And that is an important goal to keep in mind during these high unemployment years. Yes, years. The 2 million jobs lost in 2007 – 2010 are not expected to come back for several more years.

What's the alternative, both if you LOST your job and if you are feeling VULNERABLE in a more volatile future?

Start a small business.

Multiple streams of revenue can be a safety strategy for a family. Not every family believes they have the wherewithal for owning a business, but it is VERY feasible for most families who put their mind, hands, talents, and a bit of cash into a shared enterprise.

Glenn Croston provides an excellent overview of how to select and shape a budding business that builds productivity and benefits for yourself and your customers. And your community!

Conventional business is increasingly about BIG business – major oil companies, and global retailing chains and global manufacturing. But small, local businesses can find a niche in the "Great Green Upswing" as Croston calls it as communities, families and even businesses reduce their waste, their carbon footprint, and meet the demands of a more discerning buying public.

Welcome to the "green revolution", and the Ten Green Trends that will change the world.

(And you can find a wide variety of service, manufacturing and supply chain business ideas in these ten trends)

  1. Oil and natural gas get more expensive.
  2. Producing greenhouse gases will get more expensive
  3. Waste less water
  4. Waste less energy
  5. Produce clean renewable energy
  6. Have stronger green certification
  7. Cleaner food and better health
  8. A flatter world economy
  9. Raising the green bar
  10. The conserver economy

But how do you create a business out of these trends? Croston provides practical examples of businesses that were started for smarter solutions to known problems of higher costs, pollution and concerns about health and community stability. And he shows how to take the journey from green dreams to opening the door; how to find money, how to green your business operations and facilities, and some strategies for green marketing and communications.

Green business works a little differently than conventional business. Transparency and certifications of measurable results are both in demand, and regulated at the local, state and federal level. But that compliance structure has a benefit: not everyone can create a competitor to your business, and compliance lays out a structure that can help you shape your business strategy and services. You have a template with which to innovate!

Green business structures aren't totally different than conventional business structures.

Green business structures include sole proprietorships, partnerships, cooperatives, corporations and employee-owned strategies. They can provide design, manufacturing or retail benefits to customers and clients. What's different is most striking in HOW they do business, and the results they deliver. By reducing energy use, they save both money and the environment. By reducing pollution they enhance both the health of their employees and their customers … and their communities.

Green companies are often more community oriented than their conventional counterparts. Innovative financial models are being created by using Internet capabilities and more transparent and social media approaches to innovation and building a marketing community of people who BELIEVE strongly in the solution and goals being offered by a green company.

Crosdon also gives specific examples of green businesses in retail, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and direct sales. Green franchises are beginning to enter the marketplace and Croston helps you identify credible multi-level opportunities.

If you need to get a grasp on the wide possibilities of green, and narrow it down to a specific business, this book can help you start the journey to creating your own part-time or full-time green business. And that's an important tool to put in your economic recovery toolbelt.

BOOK: Starting Green, From Business Plan to Profits
AUTHOR: Glenn Croston, Ph.D. a scientist, green entrepreneur and founder of Starting Up Green, an online community for green entrepreneurs. He is also author of 75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make a Difference and Greening Your Business on a Budget

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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