SmallBizPod #40 – Interview with Colin Crooks of Greenworks

Colin Crooks, managing director of Greenworks, talks about recyclying business and the challenges and benefits of social entrepreneurship.

By Alex Bellinger
13th February 2007 at 12:38 am

This week SmallBizPod #40, the small business podcast, explores the subject of support for environmentally friendly businesses, how going green can benefit your bottom line and the world of social enterprise. Interviews with Hugh Smith of London Remade and Colin Crooks, managing director of Greenworks, provide a fascinating insight and plenty of practical advice. This episode also sees the return of the ‘roving reporter’ and plenty of feedback from listeners.

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Show Notes



• 00:00 Alex on what’s coming up in the show.
• 01:55 Thank you and hello to all new listeners and how to send your feedback.
• 02:46 Thanks for the promo voice over from Simon Davies.


• 03:23 Interview with Hugh Smith, programme manager for the Enhance initiative at London Remade. Hugh explains how London Development Agency funding of £3 million is used to provide consultancy and advice to businesses wanting to grow in the green sector and also to establish a capital fund providing grants for recycling projects within companies. Alex and Hugh talk about the growth of environmentally friendly business, what practical steps should SMEs take to improve their environmental impact, but also their bottom line by going green. Hugh also highlights other support networks across the country including: the Community Recycling Network, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, Envirowise and the Green Procurement Code.


• 15:54 Email comment from Paul Grant at Capital Partners Group to a free seminar called the Funding Game in London on Thursday 15 February which helps early stage businesses explore funding options. Contact Paul, if you’d like to attend: 0207 7482215.
• 17:03 Thanks for the trackback from Ed Stivala who has been enjoying SmallBizPod #4 on blogging.
• 17:51 Email comment from S Rajasekar an Indian entrepreneur from Theni who has been enjoying SmallBizPod, particularly the Taylor/LaBarre episode and the interview done by Juliette Prouse. He also makes an interesting suggestion about adding a 30 second business tip and 30 second joke to each episode of SmallBizPod, to add to the variety.
• 20:10 Update on new people to add themselves to the SmallBizPod Frappr Map including: Rajasekar, Ed Stivala, Richard Boyd, and Daley Ervin.
• 21:23 Email comment from Jim Markham saying yes he would like a SmallBizPod forum.
• 22:16 Email comment from Greg Sue who runs a fashion label start-up in Brighton and the concept of vuja de.
• 23:59 An audio comment from Nick Rogers on open source business models and the Juice screencast.


• 26:48 Interview with Colin Crooks, managing director of Greenworks who explains what his company does, why it does it and how to define a social enterprise. Alex and Colin also talk about how green business and social enterprises have grown together to lead the way in the recycling arena. There’s also some discussion on recycling profits, the difficulty of motivating social enterprises to make money, the need to recruit employees with commercial experience and the options in terms of company formations.


• 38.45 Music – The return of Carl Barton the original SmallBizPod roving reporter with a track called Coming Home composed by Carl and friends as v.f.d with thanks to the Podsafe Music Network.

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  1. Social enterprise podcasts and downloads

    Normally Friday tends to be round-up day on this blog, meaning I would cover such delights as new research on social enterprise governance, my interesting meeting with Eli Malinsky from the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI Toronto?), the Acumen Fund

  2. Hugh says:

    Hi Alex,

    Happy 40th! Have fun in your midlife crisis.


  3. alex says:

    Thanks Hugh, I certainly hope to!

  4. I have recently formed my own printing agencty and I am trying to promote “Environmentally Friendly” printing. The printing industry is one of the worst pollutants and attititudes need to be changed. In Europe alone, the oil in the plastic used to manufacure the laser cartidges we thow out every year would be enough to run 100,000 cars a year. I learnt this fact some years ago at a seminar given by GBK Exacta, a company that replaced the working parts of used laser cartidges.

    So many so called “Green” companies go to the trouble of having recycled papers in their brochures, only to negate it by having laminated covers. On my blog, I state that there is an alternative, a laminate called “CelloGreen” which is bio degradable. I reguarly post “Environmntally Friendly Printing” tips on my blog. For instance, there is an experimantal paper mill in Manchester that uses straw to make paper. They hope to have an industrial scale commecial plant running by the end of the year.

    For more info on such matters, please feel free to visit my blog at, or call me on 01432 870528.

    Any info you have on “Green” printing would be most welcome. Help spread the word.

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