Social entrepreneurship focuses on developing solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues and according to a recent study, about 54% of Gen Z indicated they wanted to start their own company. These ‘wannabe’ entrepreneurs indicated control, debt-free, purposeful life and being good to the planet were their driving entrepreneurial ambitions. Social entrepreneurship goes hand-in-hand with eco or environmental entrepreneurship and although the distinction is important to recognise, these groups routinely work together. It is the same grouping as the LGBTQ+ community in which each group doesn't specifically have lots in common but work together as a broad representation of a minority to expand their voice to a wider audience and identify with the things that they do share.
The same can be said for the environmental community. It is divided up into many subcategories including wildlife, lifestyle, scientific, societal, & issue-specific groups. All these groups share a common goal, to preserve and ensure the safety of life on Earth, although many would argue the exact goal as related to their own specific purpose. Environmental, sustainable entrepreneurship or ecopreneurship aims to grow skills to enable individuals to launch new ventures, strategies, products, and technologies that address society’s environmental and natural resource problems. This can fall under many different schools of study, including law, design, manufacturing, management, economics, & engineering. Most of these career paths usually teach their students fundamental and basic principles of what they will need in the future, however very few actually go into the eco-impact of certain industries and do not aim to teach students how they can work less wastefully or to assist them in understanding how their industries could operate more efficiently in relation to waste.
A lot of companies using ecopreneurship principles incorporate sustainable product design. This can be achieved using innovative technology (or Eco-innovation). Product design offers the opportunity to incorporate green and socially responsible attributes into a product. It is a process that addresses environmental and social considerations in the earliest stages of the product development process to minimize negative environmental and social impacts throughout the product's life cycle and to comply with the principles of economic, social and ecological sustainability. The problem with this is that innovative technology is not easy, and requires a genuinely novel approach which can be time-consuming and virtually impossible for non-creative individuals. It is just much easier to do it the same as everyone else has been doing it since the beginning, it takes a true risk-taker and creative thinker to break free from the mould and create something that truly helps the world. Not only is it difficult to do, but there is also more risk associated, as if it is not clear how your business will have a unique selling point because of your environmental views, other competitors will easily step in to take your customers.
Innovators are key to shaping the environmentally minded society of tomorrow, but for that, you need to have many characteristics that lots of people wish they had, but done correctly if we prop up our Elon Musk’s & Ellen Macarthur’s of the world we will take our first steps to ensure the safety of the planet that we live on.
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