How to create an impact business in 8 weeks.

Entrepreneurship might seem complicated and scary, but it isn’t really. Once you have found a problem and a solution that excites you, then you are halfway there. Now, all you need is determination and effort to get it up and running.
It’s a challenge, but it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do – and solving the climate crisis is a huge huge challenge. 
Right now, there is an enormous amount of money trying to make investments into relatively few good climate based business ideas. It’s the perfect time to have a massive impact on the world and leverage the attention and capital the climate impact business movement has garnered. 
This process is an 8 step process, best played out over 8 weeks, that will get you from nothing to an established idea with a team up and running, ready to start. 

Each activity is given a week but you can complete the steps more quickly or more slowly:

  • Problem Area (week 1):
      1. Pick an area of interest from Project Drawdown. They have listed the top 100 things we can do to solve the crisis (see list ranked by gigatons of carbon solutions remove)
      2. Don’t know which area interests you? Get in touch with the Seed Stage Community Managers for some advice; here.

  • Reach out to 5 Startups (week 2):
      1. Go to Climatebase or Climatescape and find 5 companies doing something amazing in your topic area. 
      2. Reach out to the founders of those businesses asking for a chat as a fellow entrepreneur in the same space.

  • Discover (week 3):
      1. Say that you came up with a similar idea to one that they have started, but rather than competing, you want to pivot to something new. Ask these questions (make notes!):

      2. What are some of the most important lessons you have learned about [the problem area you are both in]?
      3. Has anything surprised you now that you have customers that you wouldn’t have thought about before? (check that they do have customers)
      4. Are there any hard problems you have encountered in this space or an adjacent space that I could solve?
      5. Who are the main owners/holders of that problem? (these would likely be your future customers)
      6. Is there an obvious opportunity that I’m missing?

  • Compile (week 4):
      1. Bring together the notes and see where similarities lie.
      2. Are any of the areas mentioned of interest? 
      3. Were any of the ideas they suggested of interest to you?
      4. If no – then find more people to speak to.
      5. If yes – then progress to the next step.

  • Discuss (week 5):
      1. Talk through your idea with any of the community managers here
      2. Post about your idea and request input on the CVC’s general Slack channel – people are often happy to give their thoughts and feedback. (follow up by trying to arrange a short call)
      3. Discuss the idea with a friend who can give you honest feedback. 
      4. Just use this time to air the idea and see what people’s initial issues or thoughts on it are.

  • Make the pitch (week 6):
      1. Use our pitch template to structure the idea. 
      2. Make a nice looking pitch deck, short blog and one pager that can be shared. (these templates will be provided)

  • Share with CVC (week 7):
      1. We’ll post these out to the CVC community and in the newsletter.
      2. The call to action will be to see if anyone is interested in joining the project.

  • Share with the world (week 8):
      1. Shout out on your social media, tagging the CVC that you are looking to start this project. 
      2. We will reshare this in our networks to get maximum reach. 
      3. This will help you get supporters and possibly team mates and funders!

  • Pitch (after week 8)
    1. If you are ready to pitch to an investor we can get you in front of some investors to get a taste of what this is like.
    2. This will be a low commitment type pitch where we are just asking for feedback and using it to learn and grow. 

This highly streamlined process is designed for anyone to follow. It leverages smart entrepreneurs who have already done the heavy lifting and gets you excited about something that you can shout about and get help with. Using this process keeps the beginning steps of starting a business easy and simple and helps you avoid the most common pitfalls of new entrepreneurs. Creating a successful impactful business takes effort; stay committed and determined and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
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