The way in which humans live – and the demand for great excess and instant gratification – is dramatically impacting the state of our planet. We didn’t always live like this. In fact, sustainability was a key part of daily life until the industrial evolution of the 18th century. From there, human progress was connected with economic growth, leading to mass production and desperate sourcing of raw materials from wherever humans could find them, regardless of how removing them might affect the earth.

Undoing the bad habits

Fortunately, we are now more aware of the consequences of our actions than ever before and people from around the globe are starting to work together in undoing the bad habits in an effort to foster a new, more sustainable future. This new mindset needs to become a priority for everyone! Here’s how you can take steps in the right direction as a young business owner.

Analyse your supply chain

If you own a small business or intend to start one soon enough, it’s vital that you pay close attention to your supply chain. Is it in line with environmental compliance demands? Have you connected with the right partners with the same sustainability-driven mentality? Are you doing everything in your power to reduce, reuse, and recycle?

Put a stop to single-use plastics

Plastic is playing a lead role in the degradation of our planet. Because of this, entrepreneurs need to find a way to package their products without using any plastic whatsoever. Better yet, make use of recycled materials instead!

Stick close to vulnerable communities

Vulnerable communities face huge problems, like food and water shortage. Businesses can make a difference by investing in projects that seek to strengthen and develop these communities, work to produce products that alleviate these problems, and/or hire individuals living within the communities themselves.

Have a passion for sustainability and eco-conscious entrepreneurship?

Then be sure to enter the Zayed Sustainability Prize competition. We have recently partnered with the program and are encouraging local entrepreneurs with innovative solutions for shaping the world’s future to partake.

Submit your entry via

Need some guidance in terms of starting your own business? SA Teen’s free online academy is your go-to resource!