News


(L to R) Business team members Prof Damian Hine and Andy Harvey (UQ) with Mariglo Laritit from the Technical Steering Committee (Photo: M King)

Encouraging eco-friendly business ideas


Businesses help the economy and communities. They can also lead the way in environmental sustainability. At CCRES we see businesses as vital to efforts to improve coastal ecosystems.

Together with our partners at the pilot sites of El Nido and Selayar, the Component II business team is seeking to encourage entrepreneurs who can work in harmony with the environment and increase the wellbeing of the community.

The team is creating a framework to turn ideas into positive commercial and environmental outcomes. It aims to build local capacity in innovation, and assist the development of businesses that create sustainable livelihoods.

A key part of the framework is the CCRES Eco-Biz Challenge - a business idea competition aimed at identifying local entrepreneurs and providing them with support to develop their eco-friendly business ideas into successful businesses. The hope is to benefit both local economy, the community and the environment.

In El Nido, the competition will be linked to encouraging business ideas that address four key environmental issues identified as part of the CCRES systems analysis work - food insecurity, fish catch decline, deteriorating water quality, and loss of mangroves. Central to the framework are a three-day commercialisation workshop to assess the viability of ideas and develop key skills for new entrepreneurs and to build local economic development support to increase the likelihood of their success.

Finalists will be selected on the merit of their idea which must have a positive impact on the environment and be commercially viable.  Successful applicants will have the opportunity to:

  • Gain valuable business training during tailored workshops
  • Shape their proposal into a solid business plan
  • Work with experienced mentors
  • Obtain funding for their proposed idea (for the three winners)
  • Turn their business idea into a reality

The Eco-Biz Challenge is set to start soon in El Nido, and later in the year in Selayar.

“Our hope is that over the next 12 months, several of the businesses will start to emerge,” says Andy Harvey, from the University of Queensland Business School.

Andy is co-ordinating the Eco-Biz Challenge in El Nido in conjunction with Mariglo Laririt member of the CCRES Technical Advisory Committee.

“Momentum will be gained as people create and see the opportunities around the environment and developing business that support the environment.”

Hear more from Andy Harvey

For more information contact Andy Harvey.