Kickstarter was founded in 2009 and has helped fund almost half a million projects since with billions of dollars from millions of supporters. Hundreds if not thousands of worthy ideas get funded each day through the platform, but it is interesting to consider how many of these new ventures are sustainable in nature. In 2018, Kickstarter became interested in helping new ventures understand whether their business is sustainable and what the environmental impact of their venture will be.
According to Forbes:
“Kickstarter unveiled new features that will help creators evaluate and reduce the environmental impact of their products at the earliest stages. Kickstarter teamed up with EDF Climate Corps to develop an information hub called the Environmental Resource Center, as well as a space where project creators are asked to publicly commit to environmental practices.”
Partnering with the Environmental Resource Center ended up being a great idea to help entrepreneurs at a very early stage begin to think of the impact of their business. The resource center that was developed by EDF Climate Corps fellow Alexandra Criscuolo provides an easy to use straightforward way to understand environmental impacts of the proposed business by giving entrepreneurs case studies, best practices, and industry advice on how to assess, adopt, and communicate sustainability efforts.
This marks a significant shift in the creative process fostered by Kickstarter and similar platforms, as in the past, nothing like this had been offered. It is true that there is much to creating and launching a business. In fact, decisions about design, manufacturing or assembly, production, sales and marketing, distribution, etc. are common business decisions that are just built in, but how sustainable the business would or could be and the environmental impact caused by the business model tend not to be thought of as aspects of creating a business. Kickstarter has helped to change this.
What I think is so amazing about this is that it’s exposing entrepreneurs to the idea of sustainable practices earlier than ever in their creative process.
Reality Changing Observations:
1. Why is it important to consider the sustainability of your business early in its development?
2. What is one thing that you would recommend to new business owners about the environmental impact of their business?
3. How would you define the importance of thinking about a business’ environmental impact?