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Business ideas for 2019: Living with less

The sharing economy was partly borne out of necessity (a new economic landscape after the recession), and partly from the proliferation of smartphones and online platforms.
What started with ride sharing (Uber, Lyft) and property sharing (Airbnb) has spawned a multifaceted global industry, where consumers have access to nearly every good and service at the touch of a button.
Evangelists hailed it as a revolutionary way to alleviate the world’s more pressing problems, including unemployment, environmental damage, and lack of access to goods and services. But others see it as a tool for corporations to exploit gig workers for cheap labour.
Increasingly, the sharing economy is being used to help people live with less. Rather than buying expensive items that they don’t use that often, people can borrow second-hand from each other and not be burdened with the costs and upkeep that ownership entails.

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Is rethinking plastic a good business idea?

Single-use plastics have recently come under the environmental spotlight, and in 2019, UK consumers will be looking for help in reducing their plastic waste.
The war on single-use plastic is here, and in 2019 we expect to see more consumers than ever taking up arms against this non-reusable, non-recyclable modern menace.
Sitting in landfill for decades, clogging our seas (an estimated 12 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year) and inflicting horrendous suffering on wildlife, single-use plastics were, in April 2018, condemned by prime minister Theresa May as a “scourge” on our planet – and much of the UK public wholeheartedly agreed.
But plastic has been around for a long time, and its dangers haven’t been a secret – so why are we seeing such an outcry now? (Many of the environmentalists who’ve been warning us off plastic for years are, in fact, both pleased and bewildered by this.)
A growing awareness of the consequences of plastic has played a big part, driven by increased press coverage, social media and its shareable videos and images, and of course, the unprecedented effect that an alarming episode of BBC nature documentary Blue Planet II had on the public in December 2017.
Plus, rectifying our plastic overkill just seems more achievable than other environmental causes. Fighting global warming might feel like squeezing a water pistol at a raging forest fire, but vetoing disposable water bottles for a reusable one is something we can all do.
And with real-world results already yielded – if you’ve been to your local Wetherspoons recently, you’ll know that plastic straws are out and biodegradable paper straws are in – consumers feel more buoyed than ever to buy into plastic alternatives and keep the momentum going.
 

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Are Plant-based food startups the future?

Vegetarianism and veganism – and more recently, flexitarianism – are just a few examples of diets that incorporate plant-based foods. While gaining more widespread popularity lately, plant-based foods have been around for thousands of years.
Plant-based food – as the name suggests – is food that comes from plant origins. This includes fruit and vegetables, as well as beans, cereals, grains and legumes.
Whether catering for those that opt for a completely vegan diet (no products from any animal sources), follow vegetarianism (no animal meat products), or those who occasionally eat meat or fish (flexitarianism), eating more plant-based foods isn’t just a growing, but an exploding trend.
There is even a growing practice of freeganism– people who eat (vegan) food for free, whether it has been thrown out by retailers and food outlets, or is growing in the wild.
While plant-based diets themselves aren’t new, what is interesting is how mainstream they’re becoming, and that more men are looking at plant-based protein too – providing potentially profitable business ventures for entrepreneurs.
Last year, we told you that blue superfood algae was a key trend that you needed to know about – and in 2019, it’s time to embrace the whole rainbow of plant-based foods. Read on to find out why.
 

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The best business ideas you should start in 2019

As we start the new year, there are uncertain times ahead for the UK. But while none of us can control – dare we even say the word – Brexit, the UK small business landscape is still flourishing.
More and more people are becoming their own boss, so if you’ve been considering starting your own business, why not make 2019 the year you take the plunge?
And if you’re looking for the perfect idea you’re in the right place, as we’ve got all the business inspiration you could need. We’ve scoured low and high to bring you the most exciting opportunities for the year ahead.
Covering everything from low-cost and potentially part-time businesses like microblading to topical trends like ‘living with less’ to tap into, there’s something for every would-be entrepreneur.

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