Sharon Ghouila, founder and CEO of Green Steps Consulting, visited a group of Food Technology students last week to talk about entrepreneurship, and how to start a business in the food industry.
The aim of the talk was to encourage the students to think more broadly about their potential business choices, and consider the ability of the planet to regenerate, or not…
Passionate about the green agenda, Sharon believes that mass education is the only way to ensure young entrepreneurs are consciously aware of environmental issues, and is challenging them to do something about it.
How does this relate to the Food and Drinks sector?
The food industry in particular has recently received ample media attention with regards to the waste it produces, and discussions are ongoing on how we can fix this. The ‘planetary health diet’ is a concept created by the International Commission, which is looking to draw up guidelines to address our need for nutritious food, at a minimal environmental cost. In order to ensure the stability of the planet, researchers suggest that food waste must be halved to 15% … a radical, but necessary transformation.
Sharon said: ‘The food and drinks sector is rife with waste. It’s scary, and quite frankly, shocking. It’s important that young business people are aware of these issues and are inspired to make small changes that can benefit not only the environment, but could benefit their profits too. We all need to think outside the box.’
The Food and Technology course at Moulton College is unique in its offering to students, and is centred around large scale food production as opposed to smaller scale catering. This was one of the reasons that Rachel Roy, Lecturer at the college decided to invite Sharon along.
Rachel said: ‘It is so important that our students realise the ramifications of starting a large scale business in the food sector and consider the ways to stay ‘green’. Sharon’s talk will hopefully have encouraged the students to consider alternative business solutions which have a nominal impact on the planet.’
Sharon is undertaking the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator programme – aimed at established businesses that are looking to grow and scale – and has been on the scheme for under one year. Sharon believes the initiative has played a pivotal role in strengthening her business. For aspiring entrepreneurs, and early stage businesses, the Pre-Accelerator Programme is a fully funded online course which also offers support. Find out more here.
In 2017, Sharon developed Green Steps – a company which helps other businesses to comply by environmental legislation, reduce their waste and carbon footprint. Alongside Green Steps Consulting Sharon also owns a company called ‘The Party Guide’ which was designed to influence people to host more sustainable events, for example by using rice as confetti, or wildflowers rather than paper.
Sharon is a SEMLEP Envoy, and promotes economic growth and job creation across the South-East Midlands, raising awareness about the role of SEMLEP to fellow businesses and their leaders. Additionally, Sharon is an e-mentor for The Princes Trust, supporting students to develop their business proficiency. Interested in a Food and Drink course? Find out more here: www.moulton.ac.uk/our-courses/higher-education/food-studies
To contact Sharon: