Green Business Opportunities for Aspiring Eco-Entrepreneurs

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Ecopreneurist does a terrific job of educating the public about green business, especially startups.  My own personal blog, GreenBusinessOwner.com, has a variety of pages that also address this topic, though with woefully less information and diversity, since it is only my blog, and doesn’t have the wealth of writers associated with Ecopreneurist.

But the interesting thing is that my blog gets a decent number of hits. Not, mind you, for any of the articles I write, but only for the resources I list.  The page that, overwhelmingly, gets the most attention, is the “Green Business Opportunities” page.  With Google Analytics, it is easy to see that most of the people who come to my blog do so because they are searching for this exact phrase. People want to change the world.  We need to make sure they have the resources to do so.


I wrote my book, Build a Green Small Business:  Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), specifically to help people start green businesses.  I wanted readers to explore the world of green business, and what running one of these wonderfully synergistic entities that combine social activism, human rights, and environmental protection, with free market, self-sustaining, good old fashioned capitalism would look like.  I originally wanted the book to contain 250 business plans, but my publisher saw things differently.  So my table of contents is a little slimmer than I would have liked, but I still feel like the public needs to see the VAST array of green businesses that are shaping the new economy.

So without further adieu, here is a list of green business opportunities for social entrepreneurs:

Cleaning Service Businesses

1. Perc-free Dry Cleaner
2. Solar Laundromat
3. Waterless Car Washes

Ecotourism and Related Services

1. Ecotourism Operation
2. Green Bed and Breakfast
3. Ecotransport Rental Service

Entertainment & Events

1. Organic Foods Caterer
2. Green Wedding and Event Planner

Home/Office Service Businesses

1. Carpet and Floor Cleaning
2. Floor Installation
3. Eco-friendly, Non-toxic Home and Office Cleaning
4. Organic Gargen Landscaping Design and Installation
5. Landscape Maintenance
6. Organic Garden Creation and Maintenance
7. Painting
8. Pool and Spa Cleaning and Maintenance
9. Sustainable Property Management

Manufacturing and Wholesale Production

1. Biodiesel Cooperative
2. Sustainable Gift Basket Service
3. Organic Farm
4. Plastic Recycling
5. Composting
6. Urban Farming and Permaculture

Personal Services

1. Fitness Training and Diet Planning
2. Green Real Estate Brokerage
3. Organic Food Delivery Services
4. Sustainable Foods Prep and Cooking Instruction
5. Sustainable Travel Planner
6. EcoConcierge and Relocation Specialist
7. Pedicab Company

Publishing, Local Media & Related Business

1. Green Product Catalog Producer
2. Publication Distribution Service
3. Free Magazine
4. Local TV and Radio
5. Community Newspaper

Retail Food & Food Services

1. Organic Community Supported Agriculture
2. Farmer’s Market
3. Sustainable Mobile Food Vendor
4. Free-Range, Organic Fresh-Mex Restaurant
5. Organic Coffee Shop or Drive Thru Organic Coffee and Espresso Stand
6. Organic Juice and Smoothie Bar
7. Organic Pizzeria
8. Raw Food Bar
9. Sustainable Buffet Style Restaurant
10. Sustainable Fast Food
11. Vegan Cafe
12. Natural Food Co-op
13. Organic Food Delivery Service

Retail Non-food Operations

1. Organic Day Spa
2. Alternative Transportation Retail Store
3. Aveda Concept Salon
4. Commuter or Used Bike Shop
5. Consignment Store–Women’s Clothing
6. Consignment Store–Kids Clothes and Toys
7. Consignment Store–Furniture
8. Consignment Store–Sporting Goods and/or Outdoor Gear
9. Edible and Organic Floristry
10. Floor Products
11. Green Building Supply Store
12. Building Product Salvage Store
13. Green Product Retail Store
14. Native and Organic Plant Nursery
15. Sustainable Printing Solutions Retail Store
16. Used Book Exchange
17. Kids’ Clothing, Apparel, and Toys
18. Car Sharing Service

Services to Businesses and NonProfits

1. Fundraiser and Grant Writer
2. Green PR
3. Independent Sales Representative
4. Restaurant Delivery Service
5. Specialty Advertising
6. Energy Efficiency Auditing
7. Carbon Offsets
8. Green Job Training

Alternative Energy 

1. Community Wind Power Development
2. Geothermal Developer

Green Building

1. Green Remodeling
2. Flipping Houses
3. Carpentry
4. Green Architecture
5. HVAC Contracting
6. Electrician
7. Co-Housing
8. Sustainable Roofing

Financial

1. Green Venture Capitalist
2. Green Investing and Financial Planning
4. Community Bank, Savings and Loan, Loan Funds
5. Community Micro-Finance

Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business (McGraw-Hill), and hopes that someday the green economy will simply be referred to as…the economy.

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About the Author

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on