Traditional thinking suggests that environmentalism has little to do with entrepreneurship and that economic profits are anathema to environmental conservation. However, environmental entrepreneurs, or “enviropreneurs,” are increasingly solving environmental conflicts using contracts, price signals, and markets. PERC’s Enviropreneur Institute and Enviropreneurs in Residence are at the forefront of this transition.
The Enviropreneur Institute is a ten-day program for mid-career conservation professionals seeking to combine environmental stewardship with financial returns. The Institute gives Fellows the opportunity to learn from a diverse faculty of scholars and practitioners, to collaborate with other conservation leaders, and to develop conservation-focused business plans to guide their efforts after the Institute. Now entering its thirteenth year, with 200 alumni spread around the world, PERC’s Enviropreneur Institute has become the premier place for environmental entrepreneurs to develop, refine, and pursue market-based solutions to environmental conflicts.
In 2001, PERC embarked on a journey that would indelibly impact the lives of many environmentalists, as well as the face and direction of our organization. The idea was borne out of PERC’s passion to bring management principles, economics, property rights, and markets to the environmental field. PERC’s Enviropreneur Institute, formerly known as the Kinship Conservation Institute, is the embodiment of that vision and is now entering its thirteenth year. The variety of interests, people, and organizations that have contributed to the Institute show a dedication and purpose to environmental conservation not likely equaled anywhere else in the world.
The first half of the curriculum is comprised of lectures, Socratic discussions, and case studies focusing on the application of property rights, contracts, and markets to environmental decision-making. The first week also features several enviropreneurs in action and field trips to nearby properties and businesses demonstrating key principles of profitable environmental stewardship. The primary goal of this first week is to introduce Fellows to the theory and application of free market environmentalism.
The second half of the curriculum focuses on skills and professional development with classroom sessions on business planning and execution, marketing, project management, communication, capital acquisition and fundraising, to name a few. Project development by the Fellows is a priority of the Institute, so we devote significant time in the second week to mentoring sessions with faculty.
The Enviropreneur Institute concludes with Fellow presentations and graduation ceremonies.
Click here to see the 2013 curriculum.
Note: This curriculum changes from year to year.
The PEI faculty is comprised of leading scholars in environmental economics and policy, conservationists, business experts, and alumni of the program. Because mentoring is a core component of the program, faculty members are chosen not only for their ability to conceive and execute successful business ventures, but for their commitment to sharing their knowledge with others.
TRAVEL & LODGING
Participants receive a stipend, from which they pay their own travel. Housing on the Montana State University campus is provided at no charge. Participants are expected to stay in the dorm during the Enviropreneur Institute; each fellow will have a private bedroom. A communal kitchen and dining area in the dorm provide an ideal setting for professional and personal bonding. Two nights are spent in cabins at a secluded ranch outside Bozeman.
This event is closed to the public. Institute Fellows can access the program materials using the link below.