Posted: Mon 22nd Aug 2022
At Enterprise Nation, we love to recognise small businesses across the UK that are making a conscious effort to be sustainable. We launched our Sustainable Small Business Awards to champion the achievements of our nation's small businesses.
Since the competition closed in early August, the judging panel has been hard at work whittling down nominations for each of the five awards categories.
The Sustainable Next Generation Business Award recognises young entrepreneurs, aged 18 to 24, who have shown progress in delivering on a commitment to net zero and helping other people do so too. The three nominees are:
FFF (Roxanne Travers, founder)
Dynamic Servers (Paul Edworthy, managing director)
FuturED (Juan Dávila y Verdin, founder)
Below, representatives from each of the three businesses tell us what they've been doing to become more sustainable, and why they feel they should win the Sustainable Next Generation Business Award.
What does your business do?
Roxanne Travers, FFF: We run a clothing exchange hub called FFF. We take old clothes and give tokens to shop for new ones when you want. We host affordable workshops, educating the public about how to mend and rework clothes. We platform for local designers to grow their businesses and we partner with charities to provide tokens to people in need to give them the benefit of choice and anonymity.
Paul Edworthy, Dynamic Servers: Our purpose is to be the greenest website hosting company in the UK.
Juan Dávila y Verdin, FuturED: FuturED is an international educational organisation whose online platform contributes to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We promote a world where Spanish and English speakers from all over the world can access quality education, anywhere. We motivate people, organisations, and their communities to become the best version of themselves.
Why is sustainability important to you and your business?
Roxanne Travers: At scale, FFF can help regenerate high streets across the UK, support the cost-of-living crisis, and remove the price barrier from sustainability, all while reducing textile waste. The consumer mindset is shifting and the opportunity is growing. We aim to serve a broad demographic of customers. From the eco-conscious to the trendy, all while providing to those in need.
Paul Edworthy: I have two young children and I want to help save the planet to ensure there's a future for us all.
Juan Dávila y Verdin: All our academic content is designed to help fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals. We strongly believe that sustainability can only be achieved through education, and we need to invest in it in order for our communities to develop.
What sets your business apart from its competitors?
Roxanne Travers, FFF: Our ability for people to swap clothes aims to appeal to those with a shopping addiction. While there is significant investment in sustainable luxury brands, the average consumer has few affordable sustainable options. We provide an alternative with no need for money or new resources, unfair labour practices or exported waste.
Paul Edworthy: We've saved eight tonnes more carbon dioxide in the last 12 months than we've produced, which means we are carbon-negative. We plant tress for every package we sell and we operate completely without paper. We support the local recreation groups and have helped carry out litter-picking on beaches.
Juan Dávila y Verdin: First, all our organisational design and content is based around sustainability, promoting these values not only internally, and through our network of strategic partners, but also to the public in general. We work on a co-operative model that allows our instructors and strategic partners to retain copyright ownership over the material they produce for the platform.
Why should you win the Sustainable Next Generation Business Award?
Roxanne Travers: All of our management team are aged 24 and under. Since the business began, it's been a place for young people to spearhead action towards a future we want to live in. We hope to show other young people that creating a business can benefit the whole community and not cost the planet. We believe FFF is the beginning of community-led climate solutions.
Paul Edworthy: We want other businesses to focus not only on becoming carbon-neutral but to be carbon-negative, as that will help our planet to repair quicker. Winning the Sustainable Next Generation Business Award will allow our company to prove that it's possible, hopefully inspiring other businesses to do the same.
Juan Dávila y Verdin: Modestly, we believe that our experience can inspire other start-ups to adopt sustainable practices right from the beginning when putting their business plans into practice. At the same time, we're proud to share that, earlier this year, Google chose our educative platform as a success story and we've been recognised as authorised suppliers for educative content of the United Nations through the UNGM programme.
Plan it with Purpose
A programme designed to help owners of small and medium-sized businesses develop a better understanding of environmental and social issues in the UK. Visit the Plan it with Purpose hub