SMEs Lead in Low Carbon Technologies

The UK is the European hotbed in the innovation of low carbon technologies and attracts 41% of the total venture capital and private equity investment in low–carbon SMEs in the EU, according to a new report. The new research also reveals that the global low carbon energy market opportunity could reach £2,000 billion per annum by 2030.

Shell Springboard

By 2050, Britain aims to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 60% of 1990 levels, and the country’s small and medium sized businesses are already leading the way. UK SMEs in particular attracted a significant share (43%) of the £755 million private equity investment in European low carbon small businesses between January 2006 and March 2008

An independent study from Vivid Economics and commissioned by Shell Springboard, suggests that climate change entrepreneurship could be a bigger, more sustainable opportunity than the boom of the late nineties, when global sales of personal computers were growing at 15–20%.

Last chance for small companies to win up to £40,000

There are big opportunities for small businesses when it comes to tackling climate change and the Shell Springboard awards are encouraging UK SMEs to harness their innovation to be in with a chance of winning up to £40,000 to support their green ventures. The awards provide a financial boost to compelling low carbon business ideas and this year alone has granted nine financial awards to SMEs across the UK. The deadline for this year’s applications is midnight on Friday 7th November and people can apply at

2007 Springboard winner, Dr Paula Carey of Carbon8 — a company which turns everyday rubbish from landfill sites into building materials such as bricks or roofing — believes the credibility of winning Shell Springboard helped secure a partnership with Kent County Council to create a pilot project on a local landfill site.

James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK, said:

“We have to tackle climate change and that creates a big opportunity for small business. This research shows the size of the prize and that British business ingenuity is already making an impact. Shell Springboard is trying to help out with no–strings financial boosts for small companies with promising ideas.”

Lord Oxburgh, former chairman of the House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology recently chaired an in-depth roundtable on the study. Click here to view highlights of the roundtable.

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