Business and Ethos for Environmentally Conscious Organizations
Website Design, Thesis Project
BE:ECO is my senior Thesis Project for the theme of Transformation.
It’s comprised of a Thesis Proposal (where we submit our proposals for our topics and ideas for the thesis project), Thesis Research (where we conduct surveys, questionnaires, etc. in addition to secondary research), Thesis Midterm Presentation (a presentation halfway through the semester to show progress and our plans for the design outcome), Thesis Project (the design outcome), Thesis Process Book (the documentation of our progress throughout the semester of our thesis projects and everything from the beginning), and lastly the Thesis Final Presentation (a 7-minute presentation of our final outcomes, research recap, story, and conclusion).
BE:ECO is a social digital platform where small business owners can connect with and learn from each other and find resources for their biz.
As every day is a new beginning, small businesses and start-ups are beginning their businesses every day. However, many of them go for the quickest, cheapest path to gain financial benefits faster. Many are also unaware of sustainability and why it is important to their business and the environment. While there are government resources out there, it can be difficult to navigate the internet for accurate information and finding that information fast. Most small businesses fail after given time periods because they did not start properly - sustainably.
The main challenges of why small businesses do not start sustainably is because of lack of knowledge and direct information to the business owners, lack of willingness and motivation, lack of financial resources and upfront costs, and lack of time and strategic planning in that order. As Kentaro Matsuura said, “we can constantly make new things, but we can’t make a new world.”
I aim to change the way small businesses startup and connect with each other so that they can start sustainably for the planet but also for their businesses to last long-term. I will create a website that makes it more accessible and convenient to small business owners and startups. It would spread information and resources faster, be available across a larger audience globally, and is better for connecting on a more casual level for easier understanding.
1. How can small business owners and consumers be more knowledgeable in making and taking care of sustainable products and packaging, and know where to get accurate information?
2. How can small businesses be more sustainable, and how are they already?
3. Other than it being good for the planet, why should small businesses go green?
Earl Gee: SJSU Graphic Design Professor
Yoon Chung Han: SJSU Graphic Design Assistant Professor
Paula Hoag: Asbestos and Small Business Ombudsman
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
Environmental Protection Agency
Working on this project has led me to learn more about how difficult it is for small business owners to find easily-accessible government resources on government websites and find resources to cover all types and niches of small businesses. My project combines multiple important topics into one project. It has relevant sections and clear descriptions for pages and sections, which was one of the biggest struggles in initial research of existing resources. The audience is narrowed down to handmade/homemade small business owners, but the concept could extend to other industries in the future.
The goal of my work is to deliver content that is credible and legitimate but also driven by the users’ stories and content in a friendly and approachable way. The takeaway is that taking care of our world benefits everyone, and that we are all responsible as human beings, whether we are providing or consuming the products. More and more, people are implementing sustainability into their daily actions and lifestyles, and businesses are the suppliers of those services; small business owners are responsible for helping people take action towards a more sustainable future.
If my project were extended in its work, it would become a real website for change. I would add more pages and real user-driven content. The social media campaign would also extend and reach a global audience. Small business owners would be transformed and inspired to take action from my site to implement sustainability into their businesses and actions. They would manage and run their business with sustainability in mind.