The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Ethical Business in 2021

The ethical sector is booming and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down, so it makes sense that you’re looking into starting an ethical business. But you’ve probably got some questions…

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Questions such as:

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What makes a business ethical?

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Is the market big enough?

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And, what do I actually need to do to start a business?

Well, we’re here to help with our ultimate guide to starting an ethical business in 2021.

Want A Sneak Peek First?

The guide is made up of 22 sections that are split into four chapters.

Below you’ll find section one from chapter one ‘how big is the ethical sector?’, as well as a list of all of the other areas we sections so you can see what the guide covers.

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Kayleigh Volunteer Hedge Planting

Chapter One – Ethical Business

This Chapter Covers:

How Big Is The Ethical Sector?

Put simply, it’s massive. At the end of 2019, Ethical Consumer reported that consumer spending and finance in the UK reached a record level of £98bn, up from £87bn in 2018. And whilst the pandemic has been a challenge for a lot of sectors it’s pushed the ethical conversation higher up the agenda for many consumers.

For example, Ethical Consumer reported in December 2020 that Fairtrade grocery sales increased by 13.7% between October 2019 and October 2020. And this is set to grow even further as 28% of people plan to purchase Fairtrade in the future compared to just 15% pre-pandemic.

Click here for the full report on pre and post-pandemic ethical consumer spending.

If you’re looking to launch into the business to business sector sadly there’s no SIC code (‘Standard industrial classification’ which the Government use to classify businesses) for being ‘ethical’.

BUT, there are three types of business you CAN identify which are CICs (Community Interest Companies), Social Enterprises and Charities.

Currently, there are about 19k CICs growing by 20% year on year, 470k social enterprises (official 2017 Government estimate) and 168k charities. 

So from approximately 6 million registered businesses in the UK, 10% come from these 3 sectors, suggesting those are organisations that are more lead by their ethics and what they refer to as a ‘triple bottom line’ (TBL focuses as much on social and environmental as on profits).

This is then where the guesswork comes in to extrapolate out of all the 6million UK businesses, how many others beyond that 10% are ethical and sustainable?  But we would ask, why bother?  How many customers are you looking for as a business to business company? If you can already see that there’s over 600k in the UK alone it gives you a pretty good idea that there’s plenty of opportunities out there.

Kayleigh Volunteer Hedge Planting

Chapter Four – Preparing For Launch

This Chapter Covers:

Last But Not Least

If you’d like to discuss working with our ethical design agency to help bring your business idea to life drop us a message with the form below and let’s arrange a time to talk.

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