Sharing Stories

The importance of sustainable entrepreneurship goes beyond developing innovative models and delivering engaging and inspiring trainings. It lies on the networks developed through these activities and the experiences accrued by each individual. Moreover, sharing these experiences are the way of weaving the network of sustainable entrepreneurs and strengthening the pathways towards sustainable lifestyles.

“Before the training my understanding of sustainability was something related to sustainable production. Now I feel that we need to pay attention firstly to our own lifestyle – in other words - sustainability begins with us. The activities of the workshop were important to me. I could identify two opportunities of businesses for the participants and the company I work for: one in the nanotechnology research area and the other one in the Education (training) segment. “
Suely Pieri (SMART ICT, Brazil, 2012)
“The diversity of the group and the interaction with stakeholders were the most important part for me, the training gave me the opportunity to present my business, Beehave, and open a lot of doors! Some of the enterprises that were there and even the government contacted me. Thanks SMART Start-up for the opportunity to make Beehave become a success!”
Marcus Ghedini (SMART ICT, Brazil, 2012)
“Great methodology to get to know the entrepreneurs ideas in a bit more detail and exchange ideas on a one-to-one basis. Much better than a 30 minute business presentation. Facilitators were great, flexible and open to suggestions on how to better run the activities. The tools evolved from our daily feedback, which was brilliant. Practical exercises were great, especially the group discussions involved.”
Camila Haddad (SMART ICT, Brazil, 2012)
“During university I did three years of undergraduate research, I remained almost my entire undergraduate academic building projects. Then I did training and I worked on state enterprise related to the management of protected areas. I would like to have own business focused on sustainability. Although I have this wish, I always had little contact with the line of business. The "Smart Start up Training on Sustainable Entrepreneurship" made me approach the entrepreneurial visions as well as having a broad view of how to think, innovate, create and organize consistent business to contribute to the pursuit of a sustainable lifestyle. Still I had the opportunity to exchange ideas and share experiences different with other participants seeking to develop their own enterprises. The training helped to encourage and give support to organize the ideas that already existed, but also reflect on new ideas, and to systematize them into a sustainable business success. “
Débora Cubateli Redivo (SMART ICT, Brazil, 2012)
“For me SMART Start-up Training, was a great opportunity to share experience with people that think/live sustainable, and learning together on how to make this lifestyle on a business model!”
Diego R. F. de Araujo (SMART ICT, Brazil, 2012)
“The training methodology is excellent, the facilitation was done very energetically, the transitions were quite smooth. Clarification of questions, repetitions when needed, effective use of the visuals, all in all, everything was structured was within a very clear schema, and this fact supported throughout the whole process.
Aysenur Gokcetin (SMART in the Mediterranean Region, Turkey, 2012)
“The Sunny Beach simulation was one of my favorite activities. I think it was a smart thing to use an example of a city that’s currently in Turkey, because during the discussions some interesting things were pointed out that allowed the exercise to feel more real”
Jeremy Pingul (SMART in the Mediterranean Region, Turkey, 2012)
“Today, there is a vast opportunity space for the green-entrepreneurs, and in the future there will be even more. Regarding this fact, Sustainable Entrepreneurship events will be an opportunity to acquire more information about sustainability related policies, solutions, technologies and social facts, and thus ensure the continuity of your relations, interest and activity in this field”
Betul Uralcan.(SMART in the Mediterranean Region, Turkey, 2012)
“Meeting entrepreneurs and stakeholders was very inspiring. By listening to the stories and visions of real entrepreneurs, one can truly get empowered. It was an invaluable experience to gain these helpful insights and ideas. They made me think in a way that I see opportunities, rather than problems. It certainly brought me a step closer to my aim to set up my own green organization as it gave me new knowledge, ideas and contacts. I really believe that a better world is possible and it starts with yourself!”
Joris Depouillon (SMART in the Mediterranean Region, Turkey 2012)
“To me, sustainability is to act considering future generations and situation of the world and creating new sources of income without being selfish. Without these terms creating profitable, sustainable business is possible. During the training, my team and I created a Sustainability Community Lab by combining our personal ideas. This idea was really inspiring for me. Now I am looking for more opportunities around me for creating a sustainable business idea which will have a social effect.”
N. Idil Serifoglu, (SMART in the Mediterranean Region, Turkey 2012)
“Meeting the entrepreneurs was a great experience. Listening to their stories was very exciting. We gotthe chance to share our ideas with them and to get to know them better during the networking sessions. I wasvery pleased to get involved in this workshop. I learned that a challenge can be thought as an opportunity for a business idea. Every challenge has a solution which can potentially be turned into a business opportunity.”
Elif Günel (SMART in the Mediterranean Region, Turkey 2012)
“It is exciting and unforgettable, I can feel our facilitators’ passion and classmates’ excellence. Attending the training itself is a challenge, but I made it!”
ZHU Yawen / Angela Chu/ 朱雅文 (SMART ICT, China, 2011)
“I met a lot of new friends from all over the world and improved my communication skills… moreover, I learned that a sustainable business model means that I can make a business develop in the long term and make it stable enough to be competitive”
Xinjie Hu (SMART ICT, China, 2011)
“SMART is an excellent opportunity to share and polish your start-up idea with smart guys. A suggestion is to prepare your idea well before joining the training since then you’ll get surprisingly provocative suggestions to improve your idea! The most important thing I’ve got from the training is that the sustainable way of life or business doesn’t mean uncomfortable or unprofitable. Of course, that needs our wisdom. But at first, the belief in the win-win between sustainability and business should be rooted in our heart and that’s what SMART helps us doing”
陈鹏 CHEN Peng (SMART ICT, China, 2011)
“The entire content and level of thought put into the SMART workshop has really empowered me to practically align our sustainability needs with our economic wellbeing. This is a tool I can definitely use to build a better future with.”
Aldrich Burmeister, (SMART ICT, South Africa, 2011)
“I am much better informed having done the course. As a result I have changed my thinking regarding sustainability and even modified my own behaviour, taking sustainability in to account. The course made me much more aware of the potential opportunities that the inclusion of sustainability in entrepreneurial thinking brings. My vision is that these principles should be included in all business/scenario planning for the future and that as many people as possible should be exposed to this thinking.”
Stefan Segal (SMART ICT, South Africa, 2011)
“I hope to team up with other lecturers to teach the entrepreneurship course – and in particular to introduce many of the new topics that I took with me from the SMART Start-up workshop.”
Prof. Osmond Kaunde – Tanzania (Educate-the-educators, Germany, 2010)
“…Thanks to the SMART Start-up training I could start finding a way to balance my personal lifestyle with my professional aspirations. After working as project manager for academic projects, now I’m starting my own company, a sustainable enterprise true and through.”
Juliane Dross – Germany (Educate-the-educators, Germany, 2010)
“I came to realize that our thinking is in many ways the result of our lifestyle. We all see reality through the lens of our lifestyles, our background, and our experiences so it is sometimes difficult to think outside the box and to be com- mitted to new ideas. I learned how to make use of specific tools to create innovative entrepreneurial ideas. By working through each stage of the training I realised that learning by doing enabled me to grasp new knowledge in ways that will have a lasting impact.”
Lubaba Damtie – Ethiopia (Educate-the-educators, Germany, 2010)
“The Mauritius experience showed experiential learning is a powerful methodology to inspire young people and motivate them toward Sustainable Entrepreneur- ship. We learned that opportunities should be provided for students to create practical business plans. Private sector and government representatives should ideally be present during the training, so that learners can obtain a concrete overview of local possibilities and present their business plans to them, thus receiving feedback, input and advice”
Prof. Toolseeram Ramjeawon (Pilot Program, Mauritius, 2009)
“Certainly the SMART Start-up workshop had a huge impact on my personal and professional life. The training workshop gave me the opportunity to develop and market a new business idea. After completing the workshop the first thing I did was to share the training material with my friends and colleagues since it could be easily understood and was of direct relevance”
Kassim Shahil Hussein (Pilot Program, Mauritius, 2009)

Please visit our online community:

Some of the SMART Start-up participants have also continued the cross-pollination through interactive media, get to know about these initiatives at:

Sustainable Lifestyles and Entrepreneurship on Facebook:

Sustainable Consumption & Production - a follow up group from South Africa: