How to Get Funding and Grants for Green Startups
As an eco entrepreneur, you've got options to get funding that will grow your business and protect the planet.
As an eco-entrepreneur, you've got options to get funding that will grow yourgreen businessand protect the planet, while still encouraging economic development.
Because it impacts every other humanitarian cause,global warmingis arguably humanity's biggest crisis. With ascorching summerin the Pacific Northwest and more intenseSaharan dust storms, it's clear around the globe that global warming is nowaccelerating.
But at the same time, businesses are stepping up to the challenge:90% of Generation Zbelieves that companies should help address environmental justice issues. It's no wonder that 74% of investors plan to increase their investments inESG funds, which include businesses fightingclimate change从所有可能的角度。这意味着其他e is money up for grabs to help you bring your vision to life.
Here's how to secure funding as an eco-entrepreneur.
1. Build relationships with other sustainable-business founders
Other startupentrepreneurs, particularly non-competitors, can open new doors for you and introduce you to contacts from their VC backers andaccelerator programs.
You could visit a shared office space like theGreen Exchange, a community of businesses in Chicago devoted to environmentalsustainability, or join a group like theWestern New York Sustainable Business Roundtable, which holds events for sustainable businesses in the Buffalo-Niagara region.
And of course, harness the power of online networking. Don't be afraid to reach out directly to business owners you admire and share what you're working on. For best results, engage with their content on social media before popping up in their inboxes.
2. Apply to sustainability-focused accelerators
An accelerator will give you resources to help you launch your business. Often, this entails access to mentor coaching, equipment and even investors who will welcome a pitch from you.
Don't count yourself out of eco accelerators just because you're not a clean energy startup. There are accelerators for other types of businesses too, including foodinnovation,sustainable fashionbrands and other green consumer products.
Here are some of the best startup accelerators for eco-friendly companies of all sorts:
- Echoing Green.
- GoodCompany Ventures.
- Better Ventures.
- Rutgers EcoComplex.
- Fashion for Good.
- Food Future Co.
You can also do some market research and check if any of your favorite eco brands participated in an accelerator program. They'll often share this information on their about page or press page.
Related:Examples of Environmentally-Friendly Business Ideas
3. Nail your pitch deck with the right stats
The green tech and sustainability market size ispredicted to growfrom $11.2 billion in 2020 to $36.6 billion by 2025. That's an annual growth rate of 26.6%. Use this massive growth to your advantage to prove incoming demand. Make sure to drill down and find statistics for your specific niche. For example,59% of Americansare interested in sustainable food.
The statistics you find will paint the picture of urgency and growth for investors who might be new to funding eco businesses. After all, your funding could come from investors looking to break into this opportunity, not just those with a big roster of sustainable companies already.
4. See if you qualify for grants or government funding
是你的公司在研究和开发si吗de of things? Most government grants are aimed at companies that help address construction waste, water waste, structural longevity, recycling, food sustainability, and other planning concerns.
On the federal level, theEnvironmental ProtectionAgency offers small business grant opportunities for companies buildinggreen infrastructureand innovatingfood systems. Many state and city municipalities have their own programs you can apply to as well.
Related:Meet the Eco-Minded Entrepreneurs Who Are Making Money and Saving the Planet at the Same Time
5. Consider small-business loans
Maybe you want to launch a small business focused on energy efficiency quickly, without having to court investors. If you're building a B2C business that you expect will turn a profit reasonably soon, then a small business administration loan might be the right choice.
Small-business funding is usually a good fit for eCommerce companies capturing importanteco trendsand local businesses like zero-waste grocery stores. Your local credit union will often have the best rates, or you can check with a company likeLendio. Remember you do have to pay it back, so be cautious about what you borrow.
As more and more consumers wake up to the urgency of the climate crisis, the demand for your company andrenewable energywill grow. Get that funding and keep innovating.Related: How to Market Your Sustainable Business
Entrepreneur Editors' Picks
This Founder Took Her Jewelry Blog From Side Hustle to Multimillion-Dollar Company.Here's How She Made The Clear Cut.
Forget Pride Month.Here's When You Should Actually Be Marketing to LGBTQ Consumers.
This Black Founder Was Gaslit By Her Doctor During Pregnancy. The Experience Drove Her toCreate a Community for Expectant Moms.
How to Tell If Someone Is Manipulating YouBased on Their Body Language
This Duo Struck Franchise Gold With Drybar. NowThey're Out to Conquer an Entirely New Industry.
10 Keys toAvoiding Bad Client Experiences
Feel Awkward? Struggle to Make Friends?This Founder Wants to Fix Your Social Anxiety.