Help is at hand to turn green business dreams into reality

Last Updated: 7 September 2022

7 September 2022

Budding "green" entrepreneurs are being urged to sign up to the latest Future Fixers programme aimed at turning sustainable business dreams into reality.

The Future Fixers Purposeful Business Start-up Programme, once again supported by South Lakeland District Council, has places available for the next course starting in October.

Participants learn about "traditional" business skills, but they are also supported to be proactive in using their business to address climate change. Not only that, but they have the opportunity to receive one-to-one coaching to develop the personal resilience needed to overcome the challenges of setting up their new enterprise.

Recent graduates from the programme have included one person who has begun a forest bathing business, a wildlife-friendly gardener and an architectural wood carver.  All have learned that business success is about making a positive impact for people and planet, as well as being profitable.

The programme is run by Future Fixers’ directors, Dave Brown and Karen Bentley-Brown.

Dave said: "We’re delighted to support those who want to build businesses that help create a kinder, greener, fairer world.  Almost 50 people have attended the programme so far and we’d love to hear from other budding entrepreneurs who’d like to set up on their own, but don’t know where to start.”

One person who has benefitted is Lauren Munro-Bennett, who attended the very first Future Fixers’ start-up programme.  Through her business, LMB Coaching, Lauren offers support for runners, triathletes and those wishing to improve their swimming skills in the outdoors. 

Lauren said: “My business and values have a strong link with nature.  The Future Fixers’ course was great for helping me discover how to build environmental responsibility into what I do.”

Another former participant making a success of their fledgling business is Chris Shepard, owner of Naked Build Co. Chris is committed to creating for his customers beautiful outdoor spaces, which benefit nature by incorporating roof gardens and living walls. 

Chris said: “I took so much from the course, enjoyed the whole experience, and feel richer for it.  Whilst nobody can guarantee your business success Future Fixers led me by the hand, guided me through all the learning, and added several doses of magic to point me in the right direction.”

Councillor Robin Ashcroft, SLDC’s portfolio holder for Economy, Culture and Leisure, said: "Karen and Dave have provided support to a great many people looking to set up their own sustainable, people and planet-friendly businesses in a short space of time.

"SLDC is delighted to support Future Fixers as they help get exciting and innovative businesses off the ground and give them a real chance of enduring – something South Lakeland is known for."

Councillor Dyan Jones, portfolio holder for Climate Action and Biodiversity, said: "Running a business which is mindful of its people, customers and the environment does not have to be at the expense of the bottom line. Indeed, having these core values can be a solid foundation for success.

"If anybody in South Lakeland has an environmentally-sustainable business idea and think support from Dave and Karen would be beneficial, please get in touch with them. It could be the first step towards something really special."

Bookings are now being taken for the next start-up programme.  Beginning in October, the course will guide participants through a series of six fortnightly online sessions and will help them gain both clarity and purpose in their business.

To book or find out more about the next Future Fixers’ Purposeful Business Start-up Programme, further details can be found here:

The programme is free to South Lakeland residents in receipt of unemployment benefits, and there is a small fee of £60 for others living in the South Lakes area. If you live elsewhere in Cumbria, there are two places available for half price at just £247.50.

Still not sure?  Email or call Dave on 07837 023580 to find out more.

Meanwhile, Future Fixers held its first Better Business Drop-in session yesterday (Tuesday September 6).

Aimed at anybody who wants to find out how to ‘green’ their business, as well as how to look after their ‘people’ (staff, customers and themselves), the monthly drop-in sessions take place at Mintworks in Kendal town centre on the first Tuesday of every month from 9am to 4pm.

As well as being able to drop in for a chat, people will be able to use the hot-desk facilities free of charge, meet and network with like-minded people, AND enjoy great coffee and (plant-based) cake.