Sustainability skills programme for small businesses back by popular demand

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The Small Business Sustainability Basics programme brought together entrepreneurs from across the country to learn together
The Small Business Sustainability Basics programme brought together entrepreneurs from across the country to learn together

Small businesses across the UK are being offered free help to become more sustainable, after research showed almost three quarters (71) per cent of UK entrepreneurs want to take more action to reduce their carbon emissions.

Small Business Britain is boosting its Small Business Sustainability Basics Course and offering it to more entrepreneurs this September, after the programme attracted unprecedented demand when it first launched in April.

The free, online, six-week short course, delivered in partnership with Oxford Brookes Business School and leading sustainability experts, aims to increase awareness about the simple steps businesses can take to become more environmentally friendly, along with providing practical insights to realise green growth opportunities and make progress towards going Net Zero.

“We’ve seen huge demand from small businesses for help with the fundamentals of sustainability. Over 500 small businesses snapped up places within 48 hours of the course launching in April. We had to create a wait list to cope with demand,” said Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain.

“It was amazing to see the passion out there, even though we knew there was a big need for a course like this. Our research with Oxford Brookes showed small businesses are eager to reduce their carbon emissions, but also don’t know where to start and feel constrained by time and money.

“The course aims to change that and it’s been fantastic to see so many small businesses taking part and coming away inspired and energised to continue on their sustainability journey. We are excited about helping more businesses to start out on this path.”

A range of small businesses have so far taken part in the Sustainability Basics course, from complete beginners to those already implementing sustainable practices.

One such business is FTG Ltd., a specialist smoke ventilation firm, that was keen to take steps towards becoming more sustainable, but hesitant about where to begin.

Director Jayne Goldsmith said. “Upon starting the programme, I realised I did not need to be worried. The experts delivering the course were super knowledgeable and there was a fantastic group of other businesses also taking part.

“I soon realised that just wanting to learn more and try to become more sustainable is an important start. The course provided some great insights on the steps that can be taken to make progress and we’re excited to carry on making positive changes.”

The Small Business Sustainability Basics scheme will run from September 6 this year, providing guidance across a whole range of sustainability areas from energy use and transport, to supply chain and offsetting.

It is open to all small businesses to take part and will feature experts including Ciaran Armstrong, co-founder of Sustainable Pathways and Adam Bastock, founder of Small99.

Businesses can sign up here to apply for a free place on the course.

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