Demand for nature-based solutions has increased exponentially in recent years as the concept has become widely accepted and encouraged by organisations from the EC to the UN. Nature-based solutions are complex however, and most organisations do not have the capabilities in-house to design, deliver and manage them. Recent reports(UnaLab, 2020) have shown that finding skilled and experienced suppliers is a major roadblock in the wider uptake of nature-based solutions.
Nature-based enterprises can help to meet this challenge. They support cities, private sector and third sector organisations in the planning, delivery and management or stewardship of nature-based solutions in urban, peri-urban and rural contexts.
What is a nature-based enterprise?
- Nature-base enterprises (NBEs) use nature as a core element of their product/service offering.
- Nature may be used directly by growing, harnessing, harvesting or restoring natural resources in a sustainable way and/or indirectly by contributing to the planning, delivery or stewardship of sustainable nature-based solutions.
Drawing from the EC definition of a small or medium-sized enterprise1, nature-based enterprises are independent entities which are engaged in an economic activity i.e. ‘the sale of products or services at a given price, on a given/direct market’.
Nature-based organisations are similar to nature-based enterprises in that they use nature directly or indirectly as a core element of their product service offering. They differ from nature-based enterprises in that they may not operate independently or have a trading income as is the case with nationally owned and operated parks or nature reserves for example
NATURE-BASED ENTERPRISEs GUIDEBOOK
This guidebook helps to clarify what is a nature-based enterprise, how to find skilled and experienced nature-based enterprises and how to stimulate and support the start-up, financing and growth of nature-based enterprises.
Nature-based enterprises is a new area of research and practice and consequently, there is little in the way of resources. Some useful starting pointss are listed here:
UrbanByNature webinar on nature-based entrepreneurship https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g5OmEXinKw
Nature-based Enterprise Platform and other resources:
The Connecting Nature Enterprise platform is available (from October 2020) on https://connectingnature.eu
Other useful documentation:
Burch, S, Andrachuk, M, Carey, D, Frantzeskaki, N, Schroeder, H, Mischkowski, N, & Loorbach, D (2016). Governing and accelerating transformative entrepreneurship: exploring the potential for small business innovation on urban sustainability transitions. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 22, 26–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2017.04.002
Eggermont, H, Balian, E, Azevedo, JMN, Beumer, V, Brodin, T, Claudet, J, … Le Roux, X (2015). Nature-based solutions: New influence for environmental management and research in Europe. GAIA, Vol. 24, pp. 243–248. https://doi.org/10.14512/gaia.24.4.9
Frantzeskaki, N, McPhearson, T, Collier, MJ, Kendal, D, Bulkeley, H, Dumitru, A, … Pintér, L (2019). Nature-Based Solutions for Urban Climate Change Adaptation: Linking Science, Policy, and Practice Communities for Evidence-Based Decision-Making. BioScience, 69(6), 455–466. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biz042
Kooijman, McQuaid et al (2021) “Nature-based Enterprises: a new typology”. Forthcoming.
McQuaid, Kooijman et al (2021) “Nature-based Enterprises: barriers and enablers to growth”. Forthcoming.
Sarabi, Han, Romme, Vries, & Wendling (2019). Key Enablers of and Barriers to the Uptake and Implementation of Nature-Based Solutions in Urban Settings: A Review. Resources, 8(3), 121. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources8030121