GREEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Ngwa Damaris
Posted October 22, 2021 from Cameroon
Be Veg Go Green
Be Veg Go Green (1/1)

WHO IS A GREEN ENTREPRENEUR?

A Green entrepreneur is a person who consciously addresses an environmental/social problem by swapping conventional or traditional products &services to income generating products/services which reduce greenhouse gas emissions thereby cooling the planet. These group of people are committed to build an environmentally sustainable future while doing business.

The main difference that distinguishes green entrepreneurs from traditional entrepreneurs is that green entrepreneurs want to create a business model that is economically profitable, environmentally conscious and creates social value.

Examples of green businesses include:

  • Plant-based restaurants
  • Renewable energy
  • Sale of fairly used products
  • Environmental blogging
  • Green business consultancy
  • Etc

GREEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP & SUSTAINABILITY

As an African rural woman, mother to the planet earth and humanity, I choose to carry out innovative green businesses because I feel accomplished and happier that I am a solution to our environmental and social problems and not a problem.

In addition to feeling accomplished there are some factors which me sustainability advantage over conventional businesses. First the green business has enhanced my brand image and increased competitive advantage. Generally, consumers are willing to pay more for products or services which are ecological sound hence being basically the only one supplyingplant basedproductsgives me competitive advantage over other businesses in my community.

Secondly, in addition to profits I earn some eco-friendly incentives, reduced tax cost and subsidies from governments, local and international organizations for environmental protection. I run a mushroom farm and it has been expanding rapidly because of incentives from well-wishers.

Thirdly, through my green business, I have attracted “green” customers, investors and employees. This has created a medium for networking and partnerships which is a great tool for my advocacy work.

Furthermore, as an entrepreneur, I am reducing the unemployment gap which is a big problem to society by creating jobs for mostly women and youths.

Lastly, as a gender equality activist, I stand as a role model to other women in “Going Green”.

GENDER INEQUALITY IN GREEN ENTREPREURSHIP.

 Green businesses are male dominated henceLaws, cultures, religion, and politics in the green economy are built upon a patriarchal foundation. Women must work their way up in the masculine world while facing stigma and discrimination. Although laws and policies have attempted to create a favorable business environment for everyone, the actual changes have not yet been implemented.

First as a female green entrepreneur, I am most at times not taken seriously by society and the male counterparts. This has negativeimpacts on getting investors, support and funders for your business. However, there are other sources of funding available for women which I take advantage of.

 Secondly, I am always trying to defy social expectations because in a meeting of green entrepreneurs, the ratio of women: men is averagely 20:80. However, I try to be myself and make my points when necessary.

Thirdly, as a woman who aspires to excel as a green entrepreneur, I am often at times being insulted, labelled as pompous and arrogant. This affects me and sometimes I feel embarrassed to own up to my accomplishments. However there are some people who are always there to encourage and promote me.

Lastly, as an African woman with societal role of managing the family, it’s sometimes challenging to balance business and family life. In this case, I put my family as part of my business and advocacy activity and so it doesn’t look like a burden.

THE AFRICAN WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE

In the meantime, while the African woman is fighting for gender equality in the business sector, we could take advantage of the current gender inequality trendas a medium for growth in the green economy.

In many African countries, though undervalued and unrecognized, women act as farmers, cooks, cleaners, waste management and recycling. They are entrepreneurs already engaged in green economic activities but are unconscious about their actions.

These undervalued acts should be developed into sustainable green businesses for income generation and a sustainable planet.

Finally, there should be a clear difference between conventional and green businesses. Policy interventions should start taking note of such developments bypromoting green entrepreneurs and overcoming discriminatory attitudes to enable women profit from activities.

Comments 15

Log in or register to post comments
Olanike Adesanya
Oct 22
Oct 22

"Thirdly, as a woman who aspires to excel as a green entrepreneur, I am often at times being insulted, labelled as pompous and arrogant. This affects me and sometimes I feel embarrassed to own up to my accomplishments. However there are some people who are always there to encourage and promote me"
That quantum of your story caught my fancy.
My Dear Sister, do you mind them? As long as you're enjoying what you do.
Please make your passion a hubby, you'll enjoy it more.
Thank Providence, there are still people around you that love what you do, and encourage and promote you.
You're not left alone in the field.
Come to think of it, what has Gender got to do with this matter other than positive affects?
I admire you your dabble.
Keep it up my Dear.
"Nothing do you"

Jill Langhus
Oct 22
Oct 22

Hi Damaris,

Welcome back! How are you doing? Thanks for sharing your inspiring, informative post. I hope you inspire others to create their own green businesses. Are you mentoring women who are considering starting one or want to change their current businesses?

Ngwa Damaris
Oct 22
Oct 22

I do both. I encourage women to start up and some to switch. Depends on the circumstance of the person I am mentoring.

Jill Langhus
Oct 25
Oct 25

Great:-) Keep up the great work. Hope you and your family are well.

megsmueller
Oct 22
Oct 22

Dear Damaris
Interesting! How long have you been doing this? I can tell you are extremely passionate about your work. Please claim all your accomplishments. Bravo to the female farmers who are already green entrepreneurs and who are contributing to the well-being of our planet, unaware.
Keep up the work, for the good of humanity. We are all benefitting.

Much love

Ngwa Damaris
Oct 22
Oct 22

For About 4 years. Thanks for your kind words

CarynW
Oct 23
Oct 23

African Woman empowerment, love this. Keep up the great work in our Continent. Thanks for an inspiration.

rebecca.tang
Oct 24
Oct 24

Thank you for sharing. The work you are doing is very meaningful and inspiring. Firstly, Green Business can really help on environmental protection. Secondly, to be an entrepreneur, there is no difference between a male and female. We have many excellent female entrepreneur nowaday. The gender equity may need to improve in African countries.
Keep the great work on! May Almighty God bless you and your family!

Duru Edith
Oct 24
Oct 24

You're doing a great work sis and I do admire your courage and tenacity.
I think you are more advantaged than your counterparts for the very fact that you're a woman doing the supposed "male dominated project". Your gender is your power. I believe in the power and ability of the women.
Cheers to more breakthroughs in the Green Entrepreneurship.

Tamarack Verrall
Oct 24
Oct 24

Dear Damaris,
How I love seeing the photos of these seedlings, and knowing that you have a mushroom farm, and that you are speaking out so strongly and wisely about the importance of green businesses. I love your passion as "mother to the planet earth and humanity", and that you raise your voice that women farmers are recognized. I farmed organically for 20 years, and many of us women farmers spoke out about our work, dismissing the label of "farmers wife". Most of us had our own farms. Your story holds so many important messages. No doubt you are inspiring many to follow in your giant footprints.

Felicitas Wung
Oct 24
Oct 24

Hey! Thanks for the inspiration

Oluwatimilehin Alonge

Woow I really love this. I am also a lover of the greens especially the research aspect. Keep it up

Kika Katchunga
Oct 25
Oct 25

Hello my sister Damaris,
it's great what you are doing my sister; congratulations to you; thank you for this information about green entrepreneurship; I also keep my share. Thank you

Grace Iliya
Oct 25
Oct 25

I was just wondering what gender has to do with all this. I am very glad to hear of your determination and hard work. Once you love and enjoy what you are doing, nothing can stop you. Keep up the good work.

Much Love

Elizabeth Francis
Oct 25
Oct 25

My sister I can tell from your words, your work comes with passion and a a wealth of knowledge, as a sustainable fashion designer, I truly understand the dedication to the enviroment and wanting to impact for change. Congrats on your achievement s and your willingness to empower others.. Its a win for the enviroment..