On behalf of the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), Hart Research conducted two focus groups on August 31, 2011, among 13 self-described “established” or “aspiring” female entrepreneurs attending the “Women in Green” Forum in Santa Monica, California. It should be noted that the findings presented here reflect the fact that nearly all of the participants are in the early stages of establishing new business ventures. It also is important to remember that our participants made a conscious choice to attend (and pay for) the Forum, a fact that may differentiate them significantly from other entrepreneurs in the green sector (or other sectors).
- The “Business of Green” represents an exciting new sector, one that evokes feelings of optimism and innovation with an eye toward the future. Participants see “high growth” as an apt descriptor of the sector, which is particularly encouraging given current economic conditions.
- Participants’ optimism for the sector is based in part on their belief that “going green” increasingly is seen through an economic lens as a long-term cost savings strategy. Viewing the sector’s benefits in this way contrasts significantly with past efforts in which “going green” was cast solely in noneconomic terms as a way to improve public health and/or the health of the planet.
“When it hit someone’s bottom line, they don’t really care what it is as long as it saves them money. I mean they do [care], obviously, but I think that it’s the more we actually save money from [green business], the more it becomes less fad-oriented and people actually start to build it into business models.”