During my career as a business journalist, I've spoken to hundreds of entrepreneurs about the trials, tribulations and immense benefits of running your own business. But despite all the many articles I've written and words of wisdom I've learnt, I've never been directly involved with a new business - until now that is.
A few months ago, Lindsay Drabwell, a close friend of mine, revealed she was launching a new business and asked whether I could lend a hand. I was delighted to help and even more delighted to learn that Lindsay's isn't just any old business; it's a ethical business with eco-principles the basis of everything it does.
DaisychainBaby.co.uk is its name and it's the UK's newest purveyor of some of the finest ethically sourced, organic and Fairtrade baby products. But that's not where the ethics end.
Lindsay is committed to making an environmental difference and is applying her ethical principles throughout her business processes. DaisychainBaby's packaging is recyled as are the company's business cards. Even her web host is run on 100% renewable energy and Lindsay is also a member of Ethical Junction and 1% For The Planet.
I've been leading DaisychainBaby's PR efforts and despite the business being officially less than two weeks old, the press interest has been huge. Several websites have written about it including the Financial Times.
What my involvement in DaisychainBaby.co.uk has taught me is that not only is everything I've learnt about starting up during the past seven years true but, more importantly, setting up in business doesn't mean you have to compromise on your principles. In fact, it's the complete opposite.
I've always been pretty sure that ethical, social and environmental principles are the future of business but now that I'm involved with such a company I know it for definite.