With this webinar we wanted to give some inspiration on what business ideas in the green economy could look like – and no, you don’t need to be a white man to become a circular or green entrepreneur, due to some cancels we had this very homogene (but oh so inspiring) setup. Anyway, here’s a short summary of our keynote speakers!
Henning Gillberg, Repamera (SWE)
Henning started a company from a real need that he himself experienced. When you have worn out clothes at home that you don’t want to throw away – what to do? Why can’t you ”order a tailor” to your door in the same way like you can order food online in example. He acted on the thought immediately and did a survey online with the question ”have you got clothes that you would like to use, but are broken?”. In 20 hours, he had reached the 100 answers he was hoping for. Henning got the advice from a business developer to find a tailor and a customer – which he did. Since 2018, Repamera is an ecommerce that serves all Sweden with tailor services. Repameras bags are found in all H&M stores and they are also expanding to Denmark this summer.
Henning says that he started with only internet and his bike and that today it is really possible to start an ecommerce without deep technical knowledge. One must start and not plan too much!
The key is efficiency, that’s also the main driver for the customer. It must be worth bying the service instead of doing it yourself.
“You have replaced my mother as the favourite repairer of my clothes” said one of our other speakers Peter Nilsson, who has used the Repamera service a few times.
Juho Särkijärvi, Arctic Rental (FIN)
Arctic Rental started just eight months ago but allready have customers both from the Rovaniemi area (where the company is located) as well as tourists travelling from the rest of the country. The customers reserve the gear online, get a code and can then pick it up from a locker.
Just like Henning, Juho also started the company out of a need he experienced himself. Juho has earlier been travelling the world to pursue his interest in outdoor sports like skiing and surfing. When travelling, you can’t always bring all the gear you need – and you may not even own the gear you would like to use anyway and that’s where renting gear comes in handy. It’s not something new to the world but Juho says that there still needs to be some kind of mindshift around ownership, and mentions that he thinks that Sweden is further ahead than Finland when it comes to adopting the sharing economy. For families with growing kids, it’s also beneficial to rent instead of buying many different sizes in a short period. “Get the prices down”, Juha states that this is the single most important thing to get a lot of customers.
Peter Nilsson, Smart Recycling (SWE)
The business of Smart Recycling is an AI-based tool for measuring when it’s time to empty a container. The solution is a sensor that is put in the container, giving information on the status.
The problem is dual. First you have the fact that the average recycle container is only half full when it’s emptied, which gives a lot of extra logistics and pollution. On the other hand there are 25% of containers that are overfilled before they get emptied. With this measuring tool the containers will be emptied just in time and only when needed to. The logistics are optimised so that the people emptying the containers know their route and which containers to empty on forehand.
Today the system is used on glass containers all over Sweden and Peter says they welcome all kinds of new collaborations and customers.
“If you do not measure – you do not know!” says Peter.
Jari Marjeta, Marjetas Oy (FIN)
Marjetas is a company working with municipal roadways, making them secure but for less money.
Jari believes that you have to personally go green in your values and actions – then the companies will follow. His own company have their own green system, with repair-services and more.
Jari describes the way they work with fixing broken roads in example, where they have a way of analysing exactly where the damage is and, in that way, repairing only what is needed and not more. Just like Smart Recycling, Marjetas is all about the data. They get the data, share it and optimise the work.
Working on municipal and state roadways, Jaris experience tells that many decision makers allready understand that doing things in an ecologically sensible way might also be the economically most sensible way.
Example from the Q&A session
There are a lot of demands and needs for circular businesses, but not enough entrepreneurs – why?
Henning: Laws, rules and taxation! Prices today need to be too high for the customer because of that. We need to decrease the taxation for circular services. Repair-services has a decreased taxation from 25% to 12% today but I believe we need to do more.
Juho: People are thinking too complicated. I you have a good idea, discuss and see if could be a business. To have a business is easier than people think at least in Finland.
Tailors from Northern Sweden – an opportunity for you!
Repamera said that they are willing to discuss some kind of franchise solution with local tailors who wants to be parts of the Repamera family – and at the same time reducing transports of the garments down to the Malmö office. Interesting! Let your local tailor know and contact Henning Gillberg at Repamera!