SustainAgri Module 2: Developing a Business Plan Summary
A Business plan creates the opportunity for an entrepreneur to think through and plan every aspect of a future business. It is arguably one of the most essential components of a start-up:
- It helps the entrepreneur create a road map for the development of their business by setting milestones and targets.
- It ‘pushes’ the entrepreneur to consider the resource requirements of their business and invest their resources in a more mindful manner.
- It acts as a promotional tool that helps the entrepreneur ‘sell’ the business idea to potential investors and partners. A thought-through business plan contributes to convincing potential investors and partners that the business will be a success.
It is important to remember that a Business Plan should contain realistic plans and facts about the business; at that early stage, investors, partners and stakeholders need to be convinced that the business idea is feasible and worth investing in, not that it will be a huge success in no time.
When developing their Business Plan, Agripreneur should focus on the sustainability of their business. Two Good Practices are the following:
- Agripreneurs should consider how the Triple Bottom Line approach can inform the Business Plan.
- ‘People’ refers to employees and the wider community potentially affected by a business and its operations. ‘To what extent does a business operate in the interest of society?’
- ‘Planet’ refers to the efforts of a business to reduce its ecological footprint, such as waste reduction and management, natural resources management, improvement of logistics and more.
- ‘Profit’ should not be the dominant bottom line of a business. Adapting to a work philosophy which respects the ‘People’ and the ‘Planet’ aspects, does not mean that the profit of a business will be compromised.
- Agripreneurs should consider the Ethical aspects of the Business Idea
In the EU, the sustainable development of enterprises is positioned within the concept of ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (European Commission 2021). According to the European Commission, it is expected European of all enterprises to be aware of the impact they have on the lives of citizens and the environment on international level, and carry out self-regulation and co-regulation processes.