The USDA “Building Sustainable Rural Communities Through Green Business Project” is offering Going Green Business Training and Workshops delivered by EcoVentures International (EVI) and Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore (WEB), to be held on Oct. 10 and 11 at Wor-Wic Community College and on Oct. 13 and 14 at the Delaware Tech’s Terry Campus Conference Facility.
Workshops are free and will begin at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 13, and noon on Tuesday, Oct. 14 for the DelTech event, and at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10 and 11, for the Wor-Wic event. Contact Roberta Creeron to register for the workshops. Because of limited space, registration is recommended.
“Sustainable communities and green business is a growing movement that intersects across our lives, our families, our work, and our businesses,” organizers said. “With increasing gas prices and food costs, communities and businesses are discovering innovative ways for the sustainable local economy to support business and the needs of the community. Consumer demand for green products and services is growing exponentially and companies big and small are paying attention, developing new product lines, and bringing innovation to the table.”
“Green communities and businesses operate in ways that solve, rather than cause, both environmental and social problems. It is possible to adopt principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for customers, their employees, communities, and the environment.”
According to the workshop organizers, empowering and building the capacity of business to be more sustainable and green brings community and individual business benefits such as:
Adding value to current products and services;
Reducing transportation costs;
Accessing new markets;
Tapping into new sources of local, state and federal funding;
Leveraging consumer preference for environmentally friendly goods;
Identifying less expensive sourcing methods;
Preserving limited natural assets on which businesses and communities depend for business and quality of life.
With the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, WEB and EVI initiated research at the beginning of 2008 on green business opportunities for small and micro-businesses in the Lower Eastern Shore area. This work was complemented by the creation of the advisory Green Business Action Team., made up of diverse stakeholders and partners.
The workshops will focus on avenues for greening products and services for existing small businesses; linking to viable markets; and identifying profit-making/cost-saving environmental technologies. The project team. has identified green business opportunities in: (1) renewable energy: bio-fuels and alternative fuels, geo-thermal, wind, solar; geothermal energy support services; natural lighting systems; low energy appliances; photovoltaics; standby power systems; sustainable transport; (2) alternative agriculture: sustainable agriculture support opportunities; agricultural processes; energy crops; technologies; biomass combustion; biomass gasification; composting; solid waste management; and (3) water: purification systems; irrigation techniques; filtration products; water storage facilities; humidification products; dehumidification products; water home design support services.
Workshop sessions on Oct. 10 at Wor-Wic include:
• 10-11:30 a.m. – The Key Principles and Steps to Incorporating Green/Environmentally Responsible Practices into Your Business, Highlighting How to Increase Profits and Grow;
• 11:45 a.m. – 12: 45 p.m.: Understanding Green Marketing Terms and Labels and Their Pros and Cons;
• 1:30-2:30 p.m. – Greening the Construction Industry: Preparing for Changing Legislation and Growing Market Trends Affecting Properties and The Building and Construction Industry;
• 2:45-3:45 p.m. – Sustainable Waste Management Industry Opportunities, Challenges and Strategies for Micro and Small Businesses;
• 4-5 p.m. – Greening Hospitality: Identifying Strategies and Providing Tools to Simplify the Greening Process for Hotels and Restaurants;
Workshop sessions on Oct. 11 at Wor-Wic include:
• 10-11:30 a.m. – Green Communities and Green Business: Exa.m.ples and Tools of Best Practices for Any Business or Community Member to help Build Local Economic Growth and Protect Natural Resources;
• 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Making and Saving Money with Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Renewable Energy Technologies;
• 1:30-2:30 p.m. – Sustainable and Local Farm Products: Where can I find these vendors? How can I find customers that want my products?;
• 2:45-4 p.m. – Creating or Adapting Your Business Plan and Strategy to Be Green and Grow?
Workshop sessions at DelTech on Oct. 13 include:
• 11 a.m. – noon – Green Communities and Green Business: Examples and Models of Best Practices for Any Business or Community to Increase Business Growth and Protect Natural Resources;
• 12:05-12:45 p.m. – The Key Principles and Steps to Incorporating Green/Environmentally Responsible Practices into Your Small Business, Highlighting How to Increase Profits and Grow;
• 1:30-2:30 p.m. – Understanding Green Marketing Terms and Labels and the Benefits and Challenges to Your Business;
• 2-4 p.m. – Greening the Construction Industry: Preparing for Changing Legislation and Growing Market Trends Affecting The Building and Construction Industry;
• 4-5 p.m. – Using Sustainable and Local Farm Products: ‘How to’ and Benefits;
Workshop sessions at DelTech on Oct. 14 include:
• 12-1 p.m. – Green Waste Management Business Opportunities;
• 1:30-2:30 p.m. – Green Gardening and Landscaping;
• 2:45-4 p.m. – Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency;
• 4:30-6 p.m. – Creating or Adapting Your Business Plan and Strategy to Be Green and Grow.
The entire project will culminate in a Green Business Plan Competition for participants.
For more information, visit www.eco-ventures.org online.
Project partners and advisors for the Delaware Tech event have included the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Dover, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware Hotel Lodging Association, A. Kreiner Company, Holt Paper and Visit Dover. Project partners and advisors for the Wor-Wic event have included Lower Eastern Shore Sustainable Organic Network, Cultivate Life, Somerset County Economic Development Commission, Worcester County Economic Development Department, Delmarva Delite, Georgetown Delaware Small Business Development, Assateague Coastal Trust, Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, Maryland Eastern Shore Region Small Business Development Center, Coastal Design Group Inc., Lois Hagerty & Associates and Potomac Regional Solar Energy Association.