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Business for nature: WWF launches free online course for young entrepreneurs

07 june 2022
Webinars developed and recorded by experts in the field of green economy, marketing of goods and services, social entrepreneurship

Anyone can register and get courses for free. All you need to do is sign up and get access to a series of webinars on the basics of business planning, organizational aspects, principles of sustainable development, modern eco-technologies, product promotion, and also find out where to find support for your business.

“The Business to Nature course is part of the WWF program to educate young entrepreneurs about the fundamentals of sustainable business. This program was launched in 2022 in Russia and Kazakhstan in partnership with non-governmental, state and business companies in Russia. The goal of the program is to support local businessmen, both beginners and experienced, to provide knowledge and share experience for the development of sustainable income through the competent use of local natural resources or the organization of services that do not harm nature,” says Natalia Trofimova, Director of the Representative Office of the WWF Russia in Altai-Sayan Ecoregion.
(c) WWF

In 2022 within the programme frameworks two offline schools were organized for local entrepreneurs who live in snow leopard habitats in Altai Republic and Buryatia Republic. The local businessmen from Eastern Kazakhstan who live in Altai-Sayan ecoregion close to Katon-Karagaisky National park were also invited to share their experience in the field of sustainable business. 

“Environmental issues are one of the key topics for our ecoschools with an emphasis on sustainable development of territories, especially small and remote regions of Russia, including rural areas and specially protected natural areas, the limitations of which people often do not understand. We do not expect that after one eco-school there will be a green revolution in the regions, but each participant will look at their business using the principle of environmental friendliness, that is, economic activity that brings profit and does not harm nature. There are no ready-made recipes, with each person we are looking for answers and opportunities together. We hope that our knowledge will help create new eco-products in Buryatia,” says Elena Tvorogova, head of the School of Ecological Entrepreneurship, Organizer of Ecoschool in Buryatia Republic.
The souvenirs and food produced by local enterpreneurs of Altai Republic.
(c) WWF

The organizers gave the participants a real immersion: lectures, master classes, trainings, individual consultations. For four days, each team was accompanied by a consultant who prompted, instructed and simply encouraged the villagers who came to the Eco-School so that they would not lose motivation and strength. The final "expert pipeline", during which participants completed more than a dozen tasks on creating a business plan, promoting products, assessing risks and solving problems, attracting investments and working with the press, was a testamentary shake-up.

Before the training the participants presented their business projects and the best ones were chosen for developing during trainings. Beginners and established entrepreneurs presented projects in the field of nature-friendly business: ecotourism, production of souvenirs from local natural raw materials, food production, etc.


“The pilot areas of the ecoschools are areas of high conservation value, with a high level of diversity of landscapes, flora and fauna. One of the main tasks of the School of Eco-Entrepreneurship is the conservation of nature, which cannot be done without people living on the territory. Not all local residents know how to organize activities so that the business generates income, while not damaging nature. Thanks to classes and individual consultations with experts, many of the projects presented on the first day practically "on the knee" became full-fledged business plans by the time of the defense. Many participants wondered if the prefix “eco” in the name of a camp site or a product makes this business truly safe for nature,” says Tatyana Yashina, organizer of the AltaiEcoBusiness School, director of ANO Altai-Sayan Mountain Partnership.
Grishkevich Evgeny, eco-school expert, businessman, head of the Baikal cosmetics laboratory of the Irkutsk brand Inspiration: “The main thing in such eco-schools is the chance to see examples of other businesses, it develops your horizons, gives you new knowledge. To beginners, I want to say: to understand whether you need to do business, you just need to start and get micro-success and you will immediately understand whether a light is burning inside you or not. And do not be afraid of failure, continue again. And spare nature: if you take something from it, return it, make your business sustainable.”