What are the general trends regarding sustainable entrepreneurship and start-ups? What areas or issues do you anticipate will become the future focus for green businesses?
We asked Jos Reinhoudt, Senior Knowledge Manager at MVO Nederland and Councillor for the Green Party in Nijmegen, to share his insights with us on these questions:

You had a great idea, you put the idea to paper, you set the wheels in motion, you found some good people to work with you, maybe you already have a working prototype. But how can you take the next step? Where can you find the funding that you need to bring your idea to market?

Business today is filled with examples of case studies and best practices, which are designed to draw lessons from success stories and help others apply those lessons into their own work. But what about the lessons we can learn from people’s mistakes?

11 September 2014: The champagne bottles are empty, the victory speech has been held and congratulations have been exchanged.

For the 2014 finalists, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge did not end at the award ceremony though. Besides the newfound attention and opportunities that the biggest international competition for green innovation brings to Green Challenge finalists in general, they were all given the opportunity to take part in an intense 10-day program at Rockstart to help them get their business to the next level and overcome their most important challenge.

Ask not: Can this product be built? Instead, ask: Should this product be built? and Can we build a sustainable business around this? Or as Eric Ries, founder of the Lean Startup, puts it: “It’s not about making stuff efficiently, but efficiently figuring out which stuff to make.”

A haven for troublemakers, philosophers and dreamers since the 16th century, the Netherlands is now styling itself as a contemporary refuge for the start-up crowd. The national virtues of tolerance and versatility reach their peak in Amsterdam, where founders are welcomed with comfortably low tax rates and are in easy cycling distance of collaborators, incubators and investors.”

Guest blogpost by Trang Tran, founder of Fargreen. They won the runner-up prize of €200,000 in the 2014 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge

2014 was a dream ride for 2014 runner-up Fargreen, says founder Trang Tran.

The business has been going really well. We have had a huge amount of interest both nationally and internationally.

We have developed our team, taking on a number of fantastic scientists and engineers and have already begun work expanding our industrial facility.

What really happened during the five days that the finalists in the 2014 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge were in Amsterdam?

The Green Challenge is more than just a pitch on stage. The finalists usually arrive 5 days before the main event. Once they're settled in, a gruelling (but fun) preparation programme gets them ready for the jury pitches.