A world without online shopping – can you even imagine? What was life like when mega corporations like Amazon did not exist? Who remembers that?
Today, ordering everything while sitting on your sofa belongs to life like a smartphone and water from the faucet.
However, the typical online trade is far from sustainable so far. From the social aspects to the ecological … neither the working conditions nor the production of most products is geared towards sustainability and fairness.
But enough with that!
There is a team of 4 young economics students from Vienna who have recognised this problem and decided to provide a solution. They founded Beeanco, the “sustainable Amazon“, which makes it easy for all people in the future to order the most sustainable products from every category – still on the couch 😉.
How they managed to do that, what they learned from it and what tips they have to share can be found here ↓↓, in this Green Business Interview! We wish you fun while reading!
How and when did you come to the idea to start your own business?
Co-founder Michael Frey (and his team consists of four people: Anya Hubmayer, Michael Frey, Christoph Widl, Marcus Rosenberger) had the idea for the concept of “beeanco” in the middle of 2017. After he saw a documentation about our climate, he quickly realised that that we have to change something and become more sustainable in the future. After researching the drivers of climate change, it turned out that almost all of us could do something through our consumption.
So, we searched for a solution to make ourconsumption more sustainable and that’s how beeanco was born – an online marketplace for products and services that offer the most sustainable alternatives of every category.
What was your motivation and vision back then?
Our motivation was and still is to make sustainable consumption simple and convenient in order to motivate the masses to buy consciously. Everyone can thus create an impact for a better environment – simply by consciously consuming via beeanco. You do not have to reduce, but you can shop as usual – just more sustainably.
What has changed since then?
Our vision or motivation has not really changed but rather it has expanded. So today, we not only want to make our purchasing behaviour more sustainable, but our entire lifestyles. Thus, in the future, we will also offer services such as electricity providers, repair services or investments to create a place for an entirely sustainable lifestyle.
Were there initial challenges?
Of course, the biggest challenge initially – as for most start-ups – was financing our maintenance for the project beeanco. Of course, you do not earn any money and thus have to get everything balanced between job, start-up and, in our case, also the university. So of course, you cannot spend as much time in the company as you would like to. However, we have now grown a lot and can count 25 people to our team. Thus, all tasks are now covered and nothing is in our way of growing.
What is a typical day in your life today?
Since we are still a quite young start-up, there is no routine in the everyday life in our profession. We constantly meet new people and face new challenges. The individuality is currently our everyday life.
What are the key skills and qualities to succeed in your industry?
In our job, “communication” is very important. We try to reach out to the masses and motivate everyone to consume sustainably. The positioning of the word “sustainable” is very important. You have to balance the modern and the sustainable lifestyle, the combination of “convenience” and “sustainability” plays an important role. Of course, the classification of our products is one of our most important skills. We screen the market and guarantee the most sustainable alternatives in all categories.
Do you have a secret of success?
We have a good tip, even if this is not really a secret. Do what you love and what you find fun. If a job does not feel like work, then you are doing the right thing. And only then you are really good at what you do.
How do you / your company make money?
Our business model is quite simple. We receive a commission of 12% for each item sold as well as a monthly advertising fee of 25 euros.
Is there anything that needs to be done to improve your industry?
I would like to increase environmental awareness. Luckily, “sustainability” has become a trend and more and more people are becoming aware of it. Nevertheless, we by far have not reached enough people. We want to change this with our platform, so that we can enable sustainable consumption for all.
If you could start again, would you do something different?
This is a difficult question, especially for a start-up 😉Of course you are always a little bit smarter afterwards and you would prefer to skip some mistakes, but there is nothing that we regret or tha we would actually do differently.
What do you others advise for your life and career?
We advise all founders to talk about their idea from the beginning and to as many people as possible. We know that if you have a good idea and found a start-up, there is always some paranoia involved in the beginning – someone could steal the idea and then implement it successfully.
If you spread the idea, you make great contacts and get a lot of support from all corners. The benefit of this is far greater than the small chance that someone will copy the idea.