The WIP - Sustainable Community for SMEs
Updated: 4 days ago
The WIP is a featured partner of the Virtue Partner Ecosystem. It is a strong community focusing on providing resources and empowering sustainable SMEs in the UK.
What is the WIP?
The WIP is a platform supporting sustainable SME's and entrepreneurs to grow positive impact businesses. We do this via a collaborative Community Channel, as well as a Resource Library and now in person events.
We offer an accessible monthly subscription as our aim is to remove traditional barriers to entry and growth that many small, ethical businesses face. We facilitate important discussions and conversations that increase collaboration and confidence amongst our members.
Q and A with Lucy
Why did you start The WIP?
When I began working with more sustainable brands as a fashion stylist and writer, I was so inspired by the work they were doing to create sustainable and ethical products that didn’t negatively impact our planet or people. However, I noticed that support for them was lacking.
Traditional business networks were a bit dry, and only touched on sustainability as a ‘nice to have’ instead of a ‘must have’. Whilst action and support from the UK Government was lacking, with legislation supporting wasteful and unethical business practices. I also realised that the community was fractured and people felt excluded from important conversations.
I wanted to change that and create a safe, accessible space where SME’s and entrepreneurs could accelerate their learning and growth and get us closer to climate goals and UN Sustainable Development goals quicker.
Why is a strong community so important for new businesses?
Being a founder can be a very isolating existence. Especially in the sustainability space, where it is predominantly made up of women-owned and underrepresented businesses. Having a safe, accessible space where anyone can ask questions, can learn from their peers or those with more experience than them is vital. Making positive impact decisions in business is tough, as many worry that they aren’t getting it right. Having the ear of people who are in the same boat as you is crucial.
At our recent Sustainable Business Summit, attendees relished the opportunity to meet other businesses, and talk about the issues that are important to them. Many came away feeling elevated, confident and with new connections that would allow them to collaborate and grow their business.
Why should businesses care about sustainability?
Everyone should care about sustainability, but if the companies we purchase goods and services from are sustainable too, that takes care of a lot of the hard work. We are currently producing and consuming above and beyond what our planet can provide for us.
We are essentially running on borrowed time before resources become obsolete and people’s communities are irreparably damaged by industry and consumption. It’s never been easier for businesses to operate in a positive impact way and so the excuse to not do so doesn’t really exist anymore.
What other values does The WIP stand for?
At The WIP we began life as a Net Zero company. As we grow and have now introduced in-person events, we are continuing to monitor our output to stay as close to Net Zero as possible. This is all done before we consider offsetting activities as I believe the true reduction of energy through business activities is better than offsetting later on. We also identify with several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals; Gender Equality, Affordable and Clean Energy as well as Responsible Consumption and Production. We also work hard to be accessible for all, no matter their race, religion, socio-economic background, gender identity or ability. This means actively seeking out diverse voices and businesses to work with, and ensuring our product is available to those with a disability.
What is the future of The WIP?
We want to offer a full digital service via our platform and later an app, that serves our members in their everyday working lives. We are actively growing our community and hope one day to touch all 5.6 million SME’s in the UK in order to dramatically change the course of production and consumption in the UK.
The WIP Offer
The WIP is a great community, and a must have resource for any SMEs in the UK. Virtue Brands are able to book a free consultation with Lucy to see if The WIP is a great fit (spoiler ... it is).
Membership is just £7.50 per month
Our resource library is full of content for whenever you need it
Our Community Channel is 24/7
You get 2 tokens a month with your subscription to spend on resources
Perks and discounts for you and your business
Virtue Partner Ecosystem
If you are interested in joining the Virtue Partner Ecosystem you can start by filling out this form.