How I used my business school’s network to secure a role in a sustainable business | Top Universities

How I used my business school’s network to secure a role in a sustainable business

By Chloe Lane

Updated June 20, 2022 Updated June 20, 2022

Sponsored by the University of Lima  

Attending an entrepreneurship-focused business school gives you many advantages that you can use to succeed in business.  

University of Lima (Ulima) alumni Carlos Vega and Natalia Tapia took advantage of their university’s entrepreneurship support network to help start their sustainable business.  

Together they created Circular: a textile recycling business which turns leftover yarns and scraps of fabrics into T-shirts, jackets and trousers.  

Why start a sustainable business? 

Carlos and Natalia started their business two years ago, while studying at the University of Lima in Peru. 

“We wanted to do something different; something that was sustainable and alternative,” said Natalia. 

Their motive was to create clothes that wouldn’t pollute the environment. Currently in the fashion industry, almost half of the clothes produced are not used, making the fashion industry the world’s second most polluting industry. 

“Clothing is a product that consumes too much water. There are stories of rivers disappearing because of the amount of water derived for cotton plantations.  

“In Bangladesh and other places where most clothing is produced, many rivers are covered with dyes. 20 percent of the world’s water pollution has to do with dyeing.” 

In order to produce a regular pair of trousers and a T-shirt it takes around 2,700 litres of water, Carlos explains. This is enough to last a human being three years. By producing clothes sustainably, Circular is able to save this water, and states how much water is saved on each of its items.  

Studying in a supportive environment 

Studying at an institution that actively supports entrepreneurship helped Carlos and Natalia launch and grow their business. 

“Our business grew thanks to Ulima’s Center for Entrepreneurship (InnovaUL), which always supported and welcomed us as if we were at home,” said Carlos. 

Ulima’s Center for Entrepreneurship (InnovaUL) is dedicated to helping students and graduates develop their projects into successful businesses, offering a comprehensive support model. 

The University of Lima helps students and alumni in several ways: 

  • Giving students access to mentorships and career-focused workshops 

  • Offering an entrepreneur catalogue, which encourages students to contact professionals who studied at the university 

  • Owning offices and work environments that students and graduates can use when starting up their business 

  • Hosting entrepreneurial events in the city of Lima 

“It was a great experience to have studied at the University of Lima,” said Carlos. “I had great professors and from the beginning I was very engaged with the topic of process improvement and the need to innovate. That helped shaped my career path.”   

Initial steps 

After doing some initial research into their business, Carlos and Natalia contacted a Peruvian textile innovation company, which helped produced the fabric for Circular.  

The material they use is left over from textile factories and would otherwise be thrown away or burned. These yarns and scraps are milled to get a cotton-like fibre, which then forms the fabric for the clothes. 

Natalia said: “We wanted something alternative to organic cotton that was environmentally responsible. Making more cotton, no matter how organic it is, consumes a lot of water, which we can save if we do not grow it.” 

A business school that promotes sustainability  

The University of Lima is extremely focused on promoting sustainable businesses, like Carlos and Natalia’s.  

“My experience at Ulima was very nice,” said Natalia, who is currently studying her second degree at the school.  “We had all the necessary resources to enjoy top quality classes, which always had very interesting projects. During my college years, I was able to meet amazing people.” 

Aside from supporting students’ businesses, Ulima’s Center for Entrepreneurship (InnovaUL) frequently partners with the Center for Sustainability (RespondeUL) to run activities such as the social entrepreneurship competition.  

The aim of the social entrepreneurship competition is to encourage the development of sustainable businesses that generate value for society and offer creative solutions to environmental problems.  

This article was originally published in February 2022 . It was last updated in June 2022

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Written by

As Content Editor for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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