We have decided to kick things off with a prediction of all the emerging trends for startups in the sustainability space in 2023.
It goes without saying that the drive towards sustainability has been growing year on year. With the current climate crisis colliding with the current cost of living crisis, consumers are heightening purchasing power and choosing to invest in products that serve a purpose. A brand’s inability to communicate its responsible operations, production and materials may fall out of favour with consumers, so ensuring you have the sustainable edge (and credibility to back it) is essential. We can start to call this Conscious Entrepreneurship.
Have a read through to see what emerges as the top trends according to VC’s, founders, angel investors and ecosystem professionals alike if you are a founder (or aspiring!) in the sustainability space.
Environmental and Social Governance sits at the heart of company operations with larger corporations needing to take an ethical and honest stance to their values. It is still an important value system to consider when building in smaller teams, with emerging legislation and compliance holding businesses accountable for their actions. It is also easier to build a business operating under the model from day one. ESG is important when it comes to seeking investment as transparency ensures risk reduction and a safer bet for investors, as consumer attitudes continue to shift.
- The Fight Against Inflation
The economic prospect of the UK isn’t the most promising for the year of 2023. The recession looms and is not projected to improve until at least mid-2024, due to the highest inflation rate since the 1980s.
It is without a doubt that inflation threatens stability. The best way to hedge against these as a small business is to raise prices where customers are malleable. Those products that are in demand and impact margins the most. Mitigate any risks in the supply chain and amend suppliers where possible, opting for localised suppliers that can reduce shipping costs.
The rise of automation will mean that even small businesses will need to adapt digital technologies to streamline their processes and enhance customer service. Though financial restraints mean that smaller businesses will be unable to adopt all the technology, choosing systems and tech is important to self-sustain in challenging times. Big data and AI can assist in developing economical, efficient and eco-friendly supply chains.
- Remote/Hybrid Working
Prompted by the pandemic, remote and hybrid working has become common-place and almost non-negotiable. It is only set to continue as an attractive employee retention benefit and hosts a range of financial advantages as it allows for companies to scale with minimal operational costs and overheads.
- Mobile Commerce
The rise of mobile commerce doesn’t look to stop in 2023. By 2023, mobile commerce sales are expected to reach up to 55% of the total global retail eCommerce sales. Ensuring that you take a mobile-first approach to website building and ensuring user experience is optimised as such is essential. Integrate secured mobile wallet payment methods and use mobile marketing to reach consumers.
Transparency as a business practice has only continued to get stronger. However this approach can be employed across all parts of the business and can enhance the marketing and sales channels towards building reputation. Founders who take a transparent approach in their business building can leverage customer loyalty and enhance brand storytelling. Social media platforms have been able to morph the culture's appetite and dictate what modes of story-telling are in and it has been noted that personable and transparent stories resonate better.
- Subscription Models
Offering potentially the greatest customer benefit, convenience, subscription models are set to continue as it was predicted that 75% of providers will be subscription-model based by the end of 2023. From being easier to measure revenue to greater lifetime customer acquisition, it stands to be a reliable operational model.
- Circular Solutions
Whether it is circular initiatives or businesses building circular solutions into their business models, creating a reuse and recycling scheme minimises waste, retains customers and overall reduces business costs. This model has yet to become sophisticated amongst larger operating businesses but has the potential to add edge for smaller businesses able to implement it.