A new membership card launching in the UK next month is aiming to make green living easier. Inspired by the Tastecard, which offers members discounts at selected restaurants, Choose Green will enable its members to get discounts on green products and services.
The company was founded by Malou Bramstrup after she discovered quality organic products were difficult to find. "I first thought of the idea in 2011 when I was finding it difficult to buy green, mainly due to the high costs and lack of availability," she says. "I was also a member of Tastecard and thought it was a brilliant idea so combined these two ventures.
"We've targeted the two major obstacles people face when choosing to buy environmentally friendly by offering cheaper products to the customer, and also creating a platform where the public can see a cross-section of products and services easily available to them."
Choose Green will also give smaller organic businesses an opportunity to get their products into the mainstream. "We're basically trying to make buying organic and environmentally-friendly produce easier," adds Malou. Products and services that will be on offer include groceries, taxis, gyms and much more.
"I take my main inspiration from all of the entrepreneurs who are starting from nothing and have a passion for their business," says Malou, who worked in corporate social responsibility before setting up her own venture. "It's so inspiring to meet someone who really believes in something, whatever that something may be."
But it hasn't all been plain sailing for Choose Green. Malou, who is originally from Denmark, told us: "Getting funding was the biggest challenge. I kept thinking, I can't do this on my own, I need funding! So I wrote a business plan and stuck to it. It was really tough at the beginning, being so busy, and also being from another country, so working with a language barrier. It's about pulling all the strings you can and making the right connections."
Her advice to other aspiring eco-entrepreneurs is to "be realistic about your business proposition and then don't give up. If you can see a gap in the market, do your research and then just go for it!"
The website will be up and running by the second week of November and Malou hopes to see Choose Green properly established in the UK within the next five years.
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