A Trillion Market Opportunity for Green Entrepreneurship in India

April 19, 2023

A groundbreaking study by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) revealed the enormous potential for growth-oriented small businesses

Contact: Jon Purves
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, April 19 India’s growing economy has created a massive market opportunity for green entrepreneurs. A staggering US $3.46 trillion is the market potential for savvy and growth-oriented small entrepreneurs that want to venture into the green economy. That is one of the surprising highlights of a groundbreaking study by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) undertaken with support from the IKEA Foundation.

The study provides valuable insights into what makes a successful green entrepreneurship ecosystem, identifying key factors such as access to funding, supportive policy frameworks, and strong networks of like-minded businesses.

According to Sucharita Kamath, ANDE’s India Chapter Head, the research released on March 30 demonstrates how aspiring entrepreneurs can build successful ventures that generate profits and contribute positively to society and the environment with these elements in place. “Findings from this research provide invaluable guidance to growth-oriented small businesses and those organizations that support them with knowledge, training, infrastructure, and the necessary funding to embark on the green economy in India,” said Kamath.

Sectors covered in the market opportunity estimate include energy efficiency and storage, renewable energy, cleaner fuels, sustainable agriculture and aquaculture, sustainable forestry, ecotourism, sustainable transportation, the circular economy, water and waste management, green buildings, and disaster management.

The green buildings sector alone has a potential market opportunity of more than a trillion US dollars. The prospect for waste management and the circular economy is US $823 billion, and US $769 billion for water management.

While the report finds the most market potential in those three sectors, they also need more adequate levels of investment.

“There is plenty of investment capital in the Indian market, paradoxically, access to finance has been our number one challenge to become a viable business in the promising green economy. This is why we are considering co-investing in a new phase ANDE’s action lab solution that seeks to be one way to address this gap”, said Vidya Soundarajan – Director Ecological Footprint & Advisory Consultant Climate Finance, WWF-India & Oxford Policy Management. And she is not alone. Effectively, access to funds remains a challenge reflecting a mismatch in the type of capital available for the small business ecosystem and the need to invest more in green entrepreneurs in the idea phase and start-up stages.

The moment to invest in green entrepreneurship is now. In addition to financial backing, small and medium-sized businesses in the green buildings and water management sectors require more enabling policies and business incubator support to reach their full potential.


To learn more, go to:

Building the Green Economy: Trends and Opportunities for Green Entrepreneurship in India Report – the primary research study delineates trends in green entrepreneurship in India, case studies of successful ventures, market size projections, and deep dives into specific sectors.

India Green Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshot Report  – a mapping  tool which identified 140 organizations supporting green entrepreneurship in India and highlighted trends and characteristics in the ecosystem as well as gaps in support. 

India Green Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Snapshot Website – a filterable directory of all 140 organizations identified in the report, as well as interactive visualizations. 


About ANDE

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in developing economies. ANDE members provide critical financial, educational, and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) based on the conviction that SGBs create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce environmental and social benefits.

As the leading global voice of the SGB sector, ANDE believes that SGBs are a powerful yet underleveraged tool in addressing social and environmental challenges. Since 2009, we have grown into a trusted network of more than 250 collaborative members that operate in nearly every developing economy. ANDE grows the body of knowledge, mobilizes resources, and connects the institutions that support the small business entrepreneurs who build inclusive prosperity in the developing world. ANDE is part of the Aspen Institute, a global non-profit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society.

ANDE’s India Chapter is headquartered in Chennai, with staff in Bangalore and New Delhi, and serves members across the Indian subcontinent.

About the IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropy that focuses its grant making efforts on tackling the two biggest threats to children’s futures: poverty and climate change. It currently grants more than €200 million per year to help improve family incomes and quality of life while protecting the planet from climate change. Since 2009, the IKEA Foundation has granted more than €1.5 billion to create a better future for children and their families. In 2021 the Board of the IKEA Foundation decided to make an additional €1 billion available over the next five years to accelerate the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Learn more at: www.ikeafoundation.org or by following them on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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