Building a green businessThe last quarter of 2022 was full of various events in the West Pomeranian Region. Most of them were related to the development of entrepreneurship, especially among the young inhabitants of the Region. It was the result of the Action Plan of the West Pomeranian Region adopted in May 2022 as part of the GRESS project.

In September and October, three online meetings called Startup Shot were held on various topics, such as e-commerce. Environmental sustainability and e-commerce are compatible, and implementing sustainable measures for an online business is an excellent opportunity for business growth. 

The search, packaging, shipping, and return of items purchased from online stores leave an environmental footprint. E-commerce businesses can influence their carbon footprint by using rational packaging and shipping methods, although this may come at an additional cost. They can influence sustainable consumption by educating their customers about sustainable behaviour and ways to reduce pollution. 

E-companies can significantly reduce their negative contribution to Sustainable Development Goals. Startup Shot is a series of business meetings aimed at young, aspiring entrepreneurs, representatives of the startup ecosystem in the West Pomeranian Region and anyone else interested. The event is informal and provides an excellent opportunity to present new business ideas and initiatives among experts and experienced entrepreneurs. 

The meetings aim to integrate and share knowledge and experiences in the startup ecosystem in West Pomerania, discover potential areas of cooperation for local businesses and prepare young entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses by going green. 

More and more SMEs and startups realise that their customers want them to be sustainable and greener.

In addition, the second series of Startup Shaker workshops for secondary school students took place in October. Participants tackled real-life business challenges and developed their ideas for innovative businesses. Under the watchful eyes of coaches, students learned about business methods and tools typical of startups and practised self-presentation and website creation, among other skills. Each workshop included a one-hour presentation with a mentor experienced in bringing innovative solutions to market. 

In 2022, a total of nine workshops were held with 174 participants who developed 52 ideas. Thanks to their participation in the workshops, the students acquired new skills in building innovative and greener businesses. They also had the opportunity to check whether their business idea could succeed in the market without incurring high costs.

The second edition of the #DesignTheFuture Hackathon also took place in November 2022. The event brought together more than 30 young people, mainly representing universities from the Region and the country, and was themed "Learn how to combine business and IT to create an innovative solution". In groups of 10, participants worked on anti-crisis solutions in one of three areas: Climate and Ecology, Society and Economy, to create innovative solutions that help prevent or minimise the impact of various crises in West Pomerania. 

Thanks to the support of experts, participants gained valuable knowledge during the event by learning about business models, designing services that meet the audience's needs or testing the solutions developed, among other things. The support of the mentors was also invaluable, as they provided valuable guidance to the operational teams.

All of the above tasks were carried out within the framework of the project, West Pomerania - where business meets science, funded by the Regional Operational Programme of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship 2014-2020, Priority Axis I Economy, Innovation, Modern Technologies, Measure 1.18 Creation and development of the regional innovation system.