Small business owners are being offered support to go green as research shows 61% of consumers say the sustainability credentials of businesses are an important factor behind their spending decisions.
Oxford Brookes Business School, in partnership with Small Business Britain will unveil a free six-week ‘Green Skills for Small Business’ programme starting in November, offering entrepreneurs across the UK support, insight and encouragement to become more sustainable.
This follows additional earlier joint research from the organisations that found 71% of entrepreneurs want to make changes to reduce their carbon emissions over the next two years.
The new course, funded by a grant from the American Express Foundation, will equip entrepreneurs with the skills they need to make a positive impact on the planet and their business.
Taught fully online, the Green Skills programme will help small firms make positive environmental changes and will be taught by leading industry experts and academics from Oxford Brookes Business School. It will cover vital topics such as Financing Sustainability, Measuring Progress, Sustainable Marketing and Accreditations.
Michelle Ovens CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain, said: “Prioritising sustainability in the current climate is a no-brainer for small businesses.
“There’s a common misconception that going green will incur higher costs for small firms, when actually the first step is often cutting unnecessary materials, waste and making processes more efficient. This programme will help businesses understand the wonderful and exciting opportunities that sustainability can bring.”
Sira Dheshan Naidu and Juan José Jiminez Anca founded beauty brand Disruptor London, which has sustainability at its core.
“After seeing first-hand the damaging effects of polluting packaging, dishonest messaging and the danger of putting profit before people, we were determined to prioritise sustainability when starting our business.
“As mission-led entrepreneurs we are dedicated to continuous learning and improvement, so training programmes for small businesses offer great practical frameworks for integrating sustainable practises into our business, ensuring that we remain committed to a greener, more responsible future.”
Dr Lauren Tuckerman, Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes Business School, said: “Sustainability is only becoming more important for small businesses, and it’s vital they receive tailored support to achieve their green ambitions.
“Taking the next step doesn’t have to be scary, it can be exciting. The world of sustainability is full of opportunity and with proper training, small businesses can make real impact by tackling the climate crisis head on at the same time as continuing to build their business.”