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Small Green Business Ideas to Jumpstart Your Cottage Industry

Going home-based can have a lot of benefits, not the least of which is the chance to turn it into a small green business. When someone says “green,” there are often a lot of misconceptions. The perception is that it would be expensive or large-scale, something better suited for a large corporation. However, the reality is that there are a number of small green business ideas that don’t require multi-million dollar starting capital or “big business” performance capability.

Soap-Making

The big players when it comes to making soaps are large manufacturers that have the resources to spend heavily on manufacturing and advertising. However, that doesn’t mean that a home-based small green business dedicated to it can’t find a niche to succeed in. Eco-friendly soap-making is relatively simple to do from the average home and has the potential to generate a decent income.

Crucial to succeeding at this are the following:

* A niche product that matches a niche clientele

* Creative approaches, such as shaping soap like animal characters or using bright colors

* Starting locally before slowly expanding both production and operations over time

Consultancy

This doesn’t come up often when talk of small green business ideas happens, but it should. Business will pay money for the advice of an expert, even if they don’t want to have the expert under their formal employ. Consultancy is basically the art of selling experience and know-how to companies that need it. People who know a trade or field better than anyone else can make a good income from being a consultant while also having very little actual environmental impact.

Old Tire Recycling

This small green business idea requires a bit of creativity. The number of tires that cars around the world go through every year is staggering. Some of them can end up being recycled, but a lot of them are just going to end up somewhere unused and ignored. A business focused on making all sorts of creations out of old tires needs creativity, but it can appeal to people and grab a market for itself. Here are a few examples on the creative uses for old tires.

Custom Lamps and Lampshades

This is another potential small green business idea that requires creativity. The basic idea is to turn random trinkets and items into a lamp or other light fixture. A creative eye and a touch for designing things are part and parcel of this type of business. For the most part, all that’s needed in terms of materials are a little capital and simple tools.

Recycling Clothing

For this small green business idea, all that’s needed are creativity, a sewing machine and some old clothes to work with. Torn jeans, old rags, shirt that don’t fit anymore – all of that can be recycled and turned into something new with a little elbow grease and a lot of creativity.

Small green business ideas aren’t something that everyone comes up with, but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of them. Green business ideas also aren’t as expensive as most people think. In many ways, they can be very cost-effective and have as much potential to be profitable as anything else.

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Lorna Li

Chief Evolutionary Officer at Entrepreneurs for a Change
Lorna Li is a business coach, entrepreneur and Amazon rainforest crusader, with a passion for green business, social enterprise, and indigenous wisdom. She helps changemaking entrepreneurs harness the power of the Internet to reach more people and make a bigger impact, while designing the lifestyle of their dreams. She is an Internet marketing consultant to changemakers, and works with innovative tech startups, sustainable brands, social enterprises & B-Corporations on SEO, SEM & Social Media marketing.
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