Making connections: Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2014

Jo Confino

Jo Confino at the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards

The Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2014 with Fair Quinoa Vodka ‘expresso’ cocktails flowing, was the perfect opportunity to meet and share stories with ‘the eco-converted’. Bruce from Abundance Generation won the Net Positive Innovation Award – Go Bruce! I  also had a chat with Katie from the Fairtrade Foundation about how they work with very small businesses. Once we open the Blue Patch forum, supply chain v. financial barriers will be food for thought.

Blue Patch at the Business Show

Blue Patch’s Emma Kirby at The Business Show

Moving on to ExCel, Emma and I were at The Business Show 2014. It’s free and for anyone starting a business, worth visiting. There are fascinating talks and a range of exhibitors too. The biggest start up cost is often a website. Blue Patch can certainly help here as renting a ‘designer website’ within our curated directory is a much smaller investment – check out Julia Langley’s website on Blue Patch. We also enable members to connect their merchant service directly to their products – Blue Patch take no commission.

The Green Courier electric vans

The Green Courier saves the day

Squeezed in amongst the stands we were over the moon to meet the team from Green Courier. Their little electric vans, brilliant for those day time urgent city deliveries had us imagining a little Blue Patch version. Logistics are key for the small businesses so we’ll be looking at how our members can share the cost of environmentally friendly transport and hopefully coming up with sensible low carbon ideas. Emma and I gained much from the talk by ‘serial entrepreneur’ Karen Darby. Her latest venture Crowd Mission and with its ethical focus, will certainly appeal to our customers.

Social business is the way forward

Social Enterprise UK – spiritual home of Blue

Rounding up the business blog I had a supercharged meeting with the dynamic Peter Holbrook CEO Social Enterprise UK. I was lucky to grab a one to one chat at their HQ near London Bridge and Peter furnished me with the critical next step for taking Blue Patch from ‘start up’ to ‘scale’. Blue Patch are members of Social Enterprise UK.