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Introduction to Green Microenterprise Development. Presented by Liz Penney, Director of Community Outreach, Appalachian Community Enterprises/Georgia Green Loans Jason Friedman, Principal Friedman Associates. Funded in part by U.S. Small Business Administration PRIME Program.

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introduction to green microenterprise development
Introduction to Green Microenterprise Development

Presented by Liz Penney, Director of Community Outreach, Appalachian Community Enterprises/Georgia Green Loans

Jason Friedman, Principal

Friedman Associates

Funded in part by U.S. Small Business Administration PRIME Program

our objectives today
Our Objectives Today
  • What do we mean by ”green” microenterprise?
  • What is the role of MDOs in the Green Business Movement?
  • Does ”green” make sense as a strategy for MDOs? What goals does this accomplish? Does it contribute to our ”bottom line?”
  • What are our colleagues doing in this area?
  • What are our goals for a Green Microenterprise Program
the green economy
The Green Economy
  • Consumer spending in the green economy is growing rapidly.
  • In 2005 in the U.S. alone, there was a $228.9 billion market for goods and services focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living.
  • These include purchases related to renewable energy, organic food, alternative fuel vehicles, non-toxic cleaning products, alternative health care and resource-efficient products.
  • This market – sometimes referred to as LOHAS, short for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability -- is projected to reach $1 trillion annually by 2020 (LOHAS Journal, 2007).
why now
Why Now?
  • Demands for increased transparency;
  • Need to support a growing and developing population;
  • Rising public concern for the impacts on the environment;
  • Climate change.
how is green good business
How is Green Good Business?
  • Reduce waste =increase profits
  • Increase revenue by recognizing, meeting, anticipating customer expectations for better, safer and more benign products and services.
  • Reduce risk by eliminating hazards to workers, customers, and the world before the regulators require you to!
what s green
What's “Green?”
  • How far must a company go to be considered a green business?
  • How do you define a green business?
which cleaning business is green
Which Cleaning Business is “Green?”
  • Uses nontoxic products for residential and office cleaning.
  • Uses its own homemade products and packages into reusable kitchen spray bottles; no shipping required.
  • Like #2, but limits is geographic service area to one neighborhood and employees ride their bikes, eliminating the need to drive.

All three could be described as “green” even though they vary considerably on where they fall on the continuum in terms of sustainability and environmental commitment.


Scott Cooney in Build a Green Small Business defines it as one that incorporates the following attributes of environmental commitment into its business plan:

  • 1. Incorporates principles of sustainability into each of its business decisions.
  • 2. Supplies environmentally friendly products or services that replace demand for non-green products.
  • 3. Greener than traditional competition. Organic farming is clear cut. Many businesses are not.
    • Is a bike shop green? Downhill Mountain bikes? Likely need to be driven to the mountain and then carried up by chair lift. As opposed to a bike shop that sells commuting and road bikes ride right from their house.
  • 4. Commitment to environmental principles in its business operations.
what green is not
What Green is Not
  • The trouble with green is that it implies just “environmental.”
  • But sustainability – living and doing business in ways that don't erode the potential for future generations – is commonly referred to as the triple bottom line (TBL) of economic, environmental, and social benefit.
  • It should not be separate from business strategy and operations; it is about integrating social and environmental concerns into business strategy and operations.
  • However, “green” is not just another sector to target like childcare, arts, or food.
  • What makes green different is that it represents a specific philosophy and set of values about operating a business.
  • The green business conserves natural resources, eliminates waste and stays ecologically in balance. It implement beliefs, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, their employees, communities, and the environment.
anewamerica s green business certificate program san jose ca
AnewAmerica's Green Business Certificate Program (San Jose, CA)
  • Encourage entrepreneurs to adopt green, sustainable business practices.
  • Entrepreneurs reach green business certification levels by greening their operations or offering a green good or service. 
  • All AnewAmerica certified green business owners must have an active social responsibility plan.
  • Providing green business support through implementing green curriculum in its Virtual Business Incubator classes and hosting green business experts as guest speakers and coaching from current green business owners and professional consultants. 
latino economic development corporation washington dc
Latino Economic Development Corporation, Washington, DC.
  • In communities across North America, BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) networks are launching campaigns to help consumers and entrepreneurs think locally.
  • Created a business alliance, Local First DC, to promote small, local, and independent businesses, educating communities about the value of shopping locally, and advocating for the implementation of economically and environmentally sustainable business practices.
ledc greening your garbage workshop
LEDC Greening Your Garbage Workshop
  • LEDC’s Local First DC developed a workshop for businesses to learn how to improve and implement waste, recycling and composting programs in their small business.
  • Learn from entrepreneurs who are composting their waste:
    • Local recycler of bio-degradable
    • Commercial composter
    • Grease recycler
  • Find local suppliers of environmentally friendly products
  • Hear about DC's recycling and composting initiatives from the District Department of the Environment
ledc green cleaning
LEDC – Green Cleaning
  • Staff developed a course for owners of cleaning companies that are looking for an edge over their competition.
  • Explain the advantages of “green cleaning,” recommend products, analyze the demand for these services in the DC area, and teach how to market the benefits of green cleaning.
  • Connect to distributors and wholesalers who sell these products and provide free samples
  • Developed with Anca Novacovici, owner of eco coach ( and author of the book "Sustainability 101: A toolkit for your Business"
other green training and workshop ideas
Other Green Training and Workshop Ideas
  • The Key Principles and Steps to Incorporating Green & Environmentally Responsible Practices into Your Small Business
  • Evaluating environmental and natural resource market issues and identifying green business opportunities
  • Understanding Green Marketing Terms and Labels and their Potential for Benefits for Your Business.
  • Greening Hospitality
  • Green Waste Management, Green Gardening and Green Landscaping Business Opportunities
how green is your daycare questions for caregivers
Does the facility have wall-to-wall carpets, which gather dirt and expose children to allergens or throw-rugs that are cleaned regularly? Was chomated copper arsenate-treated wood used in any outdoor playset or furniture?

Has soil been tested for contaminants?

Do you use any art supplies on the CA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment's list of products which cannot be used in grades K through 6?

Do you monitor air for carbon monoxide?

How Green Is Your Daycare? Questions For Caregivers
  • Are employees allowed to smoke at or near the facility?
  • Are pesticides used within or outside the facility at any time?
  • Do you use least-toxic cleaners free of irritating chemicals, like chlorine, ammonia and synthetic fragrances?
  • Are staff trained in eco-friendly practices, such as integrated pest management and the use of least-toxic cleaners?
  • Do you test water for lead?
sustainability assessments neighborhood assets spokane washington
Sustainability Assessments: Neighborhood Assets, Spokane, Washington
  • Approved loan clients receive a thorough sustainability assessment conducted bySustainable Local Investments Project (SLIP).
  • Coalition of public and private organizations in the area SLIP provides access to specialists in the community who can help businesses make cost effective investments in energy conservation, alternative energy sources, waste reduction, and other environmental improvements.
  • Commit to implementing certain recommendations from the SCORE assessment, they are given a 2 point discount on their loan. Follow up to ensure that they follow through on those implementation steps.
green sustainability checklists
Green Sustainability Checklists
  • General sustainability checklists.
  • Here’s another one.
  • For a landscaping business.
  • Food facilities business.
  • sustainability pledge
mountain association for community economic development maced
Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED)
  • MACED works in eastern Kentucky & Central Appalachia to create economic opportunity, strengthen democracy and support the sustainable use of natural resources.
  • The Energy Efficient Enterprises (E3) program helps businesses realize cost savings through the use of energy efficient equipment and systems or through renewable energy sources.
  • Begins with an on-site energy assessment, followed by recommendations for change & assistance with identifying and choosing an independent installation company.
  • MACED provides financing for identified improvements at low rates and flexible terms for each enterprise.

Our mission is to provide Access to Capital, Connections, and Education to help new and existing small businesses.

ACE provides loans of $500 to $50,000 in 68 North Georgia counties, including the Atlanta metro area.

ACE is an SBA Microloan Intermediary and CDFI.

Since 2000, ACE has loaned over $4.5 million and created or retained over 1000 jobs.

About ACE


What is Georgia Green Loans?

A new brand…

Georgia Green Loans provides capital to start or expand an eco-friendly product or service or “green” an existing business




Green industry businesses, including alternative energy, organic farming, recycling, conservation, green building and pollution prevention.

“Traditional” businesses who want to implement green products or services, make energy efficiency improvements, or become more sustainable.

Target Markets

“New jobs come from new young firms.”

Kauffman Entrepreneur Foundation, 2009


Success = SolarFlex Technologies

  • Customers:
  • Commercial
  • Public sector
  • Non-profit organizations


  • Control costs
  • Save energy
  • Create a comprehensive energy strategy, and
  • Achieve an excellent return on investment.




Success: Georgia Mountain Berry Farms

  • Eastanollee, Georgia
  • Main produce: Blackberries
  • Currently three part-time workers


  • Wholesale production
  • 15-20 local employees
  • Georgia Grown/Georgia Made

“This area used to be all textiles…it can become an agricultural force in Northeast Georgia”

- Arthur Thomas, Owner/Founder


Success: American Installation Corp.

  • Energy efficient exterior doors using recycled materials
  • Received loan for expansion
  • Three employees added since loan was made

“Every component of our metal and glass doors is American Made! Plus, no one else is building these doors in the US.”

- Israel Greene, Owner


Success = Better for Babies, Inc.

  • Inspired overseas Better for Babies, Inc. now has its roots firmly planted, and growing, outside Atlanta.
  • Owner Leah Carter, opened her own manufacturing facility near her town’s square.
  • Leah and her partner, Lauren Parker, operate local sustainable production, fair wages, green business practices, and an uncompromising commitment to quality products, innovation and customer service.

Little Beetle organic diapers and wool covers



results thus far
Results Thus Far…
  • $770,000 in portfolio.
  • Average green loan size of $23,610.
  • Created/retained 100 full time and 4 part time green jobs.




Georgia Green Loans Metrics

Demographic Data collected on all loans

  • Environmental Benefits?
  • Energy conservation through reduction
  • Energy efficiency improvements
  • Renewable energy generated
  • Toxic substances reduced, reused, recycled or eliminated
  • Waste products reduced, reused, recycled or eliminated
  • Water quality preservation
  • Water use reduction
  • Other?
  • Business Benefits?
  • Lower Fuel Costs
  • Renewable energy created
  • Toxic substances eliminated
  • Waste costs reduced or eliminated
  • Water quality enhanced
  • Water use/cost reduced
  • Other?




Georgia Green Loans Advisory Council

  • Guide the green loan program
  • Provide expertise in green business development
  • Bring connections to potential funders and individual donors
  • Assist in guiding the establishment of Georgia Green Loans in the state of Georgia
  • Leaders in the community and people with highly respected skills in critical areas
  • At least two members will be current clients of GGL
  • 2 year term; meet quarterly
  • Examples: Georgia Organics, Southface Energy Institute, foundations




Collaboration with other lenders

  • Collaboration with two other lenders: SBAC (Small Business Assistance Corp out of Savannah) and ACT (Albany Community Together, Inc.)
  • When a business goes to the website to apply for a loan, their county selection automatically routes them to the organization that handles that area
  • Recent approval by SBA to split non-served middle Georgia counties