There are plenty of opportunities to start a green business in Canada, from eco fashion and organic catering to running an organic store or gift shop, running a used bookstore, and a lot more. The best part is that there are incentive and funding programs available to startups, entrepreneurs, and green businesses.
Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Business
Green farming is one option to look into even if you have no training or previous experience. Starting an organic farm and producing organic tomatoes, pepper, carrots, pears, or anything else is a great way to contribute to sustainable living. Running an electric vehicle charging station is a second option to consider now that electric vehicles are gaining popularity. If you are already in the hospitality business, you may want to think of opening green bed and breakfast. Use locally produced, organic ingredients for breakfast items and meals, organic detergents, and minimal power. There are other ideas to start an eco-friendly business, for example, green retail or finance, eco-friendly landscaping, and so on.
Your Business Plan
This is the next step toward running a successful business, especially if you need external financing for your project. The more details you include about your concept, business ideas, personnel, etc., the better your chances to obtain a low-cost loan or government funding. Focus on things like competition, potential customers, sustainable practices, and more. You may want to highlight the fact that your business can help minimize waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental impact in general. If you plan on hiring at-risk or disadvantaged people, make sure you mention this.
There are plenty of ways to finance an eco-friendly business or project, including government funding and private financing. When it comes to incentive and funding programs in Canada, programs vary by province or territory. Nova Scotia, for example, offers business energy rebates while Newfoundland and Labrador offers financing under the takeCHARGE Business Efficiency Program. Energy rebates are offered to businesses that are investing in energy efficient items and products. The takeCHARGE Business Efficiency Program offers rebates of up to $50,000 to businesses that are willing to invest in energy efficient upgrades for controls, lighting, refrigeration, cooling and heating, etc. The government of Ontario runs the Bioenterprise Seed Funding Program, which targets farming businesses with a focus on agri-food or agricultural innovation. The program specifically targets businesses in Southern Ontario. Entrepreneurs benefit from training and seed financing. There are other programs available to businesses in Ontario, including the Fuel Injection Program, Conservation Fund, Collaboration Voucher Program, and Low Carbon Innovation Fund, among others. When it comes to private financing, you will find different options such as peer to peer networks, business credit cards, business loans, mortgage financing, and others. Local financial institutions and the big Canadian banks offer business loans and credit cards with competitive fees and rates. While interest rates are higher compared to government-backed funding, small business loans go with beneficial features such as choice between floating and fixed interest rates, choice of repayment frequency, and amounts of up to $1,000,000. Some financial institutions require collateral depending on the loan amount, business credit score, and other factors. The term and repayment frequency depend on loan purpose, i.e. whether for real property, leasehold improvements, or equipment. A business credit card is yet another option to obtain additional financing for equipment, payroll, or other expenses. Business cards go with benefits such as double bonus points, welcome bonuses, travel benefits, and a lot more. Bonus points can be used toward business expenses and purchases.