2.2 New Approach: Eco-Entrepreneurs

Social entrepreneurs find innovative solutions to pressing social problems. Eco-entrepreneurs find innovative solutions to pressing environmental problems. Many eco-entrepreneurs address both social and environmental issues at the same time (as illustrated in the following diagram). They may improve life or economic opportunities for marginalized populations while simultaneously addressing an environmental issue.

At the 2012 GYEOC, young eco-entrepreneurs discussed their business ventures and some of the challenges and opportunities they have encountered along the way. While many of the challenges they face are similar to any young entrepreneur (e.g., financing or regulation), the field needs to consider new ways to promote eco-entrepreneurs given the multi-dimensional importance of their contributions, as well and their value in demonstrating the role young entrepreneurs can play in designing solutions to global problems.