In 2008, we proposed to investigate the need for a business network for regional green businesses (similar to the Cayuga Sustainability Council for local organizations).  The Green Resource Hub would service this Sustainable Enterprise Network (SEN), and membership dues would provide ongoing financing for the program services.  Four sessions of focus group interviews were organized by ST and held with owners of 23 local businesses in August.  

Feedback from participants indicated a need for shared marketing, pooled purchasing, networking events, and shared support services designed for local and green businesses.  There was a wide variety of needs expressed, but it was clear that the Hub could work to initially provide shared marketing and networking events for green businesses and mainstream businesses interested in greening their operations.  Business owners also expressed great interest in social networking platforms, peer-to-peer coaching and mentorship programs, trading of services between network members, and participation in non-traditional business networking events.  The SEN’s first event in March 2009 with Holly Harlan of Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S) attracted 78 business and community leaders to learn about the benefits of a green business network and to provide detailed feedback on the services and structure desired in Tompkins County.  ST provided seed funding to the Hub to develop a membership campaign and website for the SEN (later the SEEN – Sustainable Enterprise & Entrepreneur Network).