18 June 2021
Esmee Kooijman

As countries, cities and communities adapt to living with Covid-19 and implement recovery strategies we all have been presented with an opportunity to build back better using innovative solutions. Over the last year, all of us have experienced that having access to nature contributes to our wellbeing. But nature is not just beneficial for our wellbeing, but also for the wellbeing of the planet. With the kickoff of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration in 2021, it is more evident than ever that we need to protect and restore nature and biodiversity. This - together with the move to build back better - has created enormous potential for nature and nature-based enterprises to be the engine for sustainable economic and jobs growth.

What are Nature-Based Enterprises?

Nature-based enterprises use nature as a key element in products or services. This includes any activity related to nature-based solutions, or that uses nature directly or indirectly as long as it is supporting ecosystems, biodiversity, health & wellbeing or climate change policy. Nature-based enterprises come in all shapes and sizes, and can include different types of organisation such as business, cooperatives, social enterprises and charities. They operate in a wide range of activities and sectors. Some examples include:

  • Landscape architects and biodiversity experts help cities, towns and communities to design and plan the technical aspects of nature-based solutions.
  • Specialised gardeners and horticultural contractors customise living walls, roofs or green infrastructure solutions to bespoke planning requirements for indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry and sustainable tourism enterprises use nature in a responsible and regenerative way to support new business models, often supporting new skill development and job creation in rural contexts.
  • Sustainable water and wastewater management enterprises use nature in the planning and delivery of cost-effective solutions, such as sustainable drainage systems and wastewater treatment plants 
  • New models of governance facilitate the emergence of community interest companies and other forms of social enterprise being set up to take over the long-term stewardship, management and maintenance of nature-based solutions, such as community gardens and parks.
  • A new wave of smart technology companies using satellite data, sensors and modelling software to better plan and monitor nature and biodiversity.

Would you like to know more? Then, join us at the Connecting Nature Enterprise Summit on 29-30 June!

This online event will explore the challenges and opportunities for nature-based enterprises, cities, communities, policy makers and developers as we build back better in a post COVID world. Join us for two days of inspiring panel discussions, presentations, workshops, capacity building sessions and plenty of opportunity to connect with others!

We’ll have workshops with the Community Ambassadors from the Connecting Nature Enterprise Platform and capacity building sessions full of useful tips and practical advice to help scale your business, and identify and tackle common challenges facing enterprises, cities and communities wanting to build back better using nature-based solutions. Meet nature-based enterprises, innovators and entrepreneurs at our Enterprise Showcase where the best and brightest will pitch their businesses. And to top it all, there’ll be lots of opportunities for live networking!

The Summit programme is available to download here and you can register here.

Connecting Nature is funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union, Grant Agreement no. 730222