(Business and Ethos for Environmentally Conscious Organizations)

Mikayla Chin


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.

Thesis Advisors

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

Research Questions

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?


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.