Case Studies

Sports Footprint, STARTAB

25th July 2023

The Sports Footprint is a ground-breaking venture that harnesses the power of sport to drive environmental change. The STARTAB Entrepreneurship Programme empowered co-founders Ioannis (24) and Evangelos (22) to turn their concept into a business.

Launched in Greece in 2022, The Sports Footprint works across all types and levels of sport, from major leagues and events to small local clubs. It offers tailor-made sustainability packages which empower clients become greener in every area, including energy, food, transport, water and waste.

The STARTAB Entrepreneurship Programme, delivered in Greece by our partner Corallia, supported Ioannis and Evangelos to develop their business plan, build their business analysis and negotiation skills and prepare for launch.

In under a year, The Sports Footprint has already amassed an impressive list of clients, including the Olympic Sports Complex of Athens, the Hellenic Football Federation and AEK FC, one of the country’s top football clubs.

This explosively impressive start has enabled the Sports Footprint to take on 10 staff – a combination of employees and freelance consultants. In setting up their own business, Ioannis and Evangelos have created jobs for eight others too – a particularly valuable contribution in a country where more than a third of young people are unemployed.

‘In an ever-changing world, entrepreneurship requires risk-taking behaviour, accompanied by all the hard and soft skills that make a business successful,’ explains Ioannis. ‘We consider the work that we did with the entrepreneurship programme STARTAB as the foundation of The Sport Footprint’s early success.’

Offered free to 18-35-year-olds keen to start their own business, STARTAB kicks off with a four-day interactive seminar on entrepreneurship. Tutors cover the key legal, financial, marketing and business planning knowledge that budding entrepreneurs may need.

The programme then links participants with an experienced business mentor to guide them through their first steps, helping them build their skills and understanding of their chosen market. Ioannis and Evangelos particularly appreciated their mentor’s expert insight into the crossover between the sports and sustainability sectors.

‘We found it extremely useful that our mentor had a great overview of sustainability in several industries and was able to identify challenges as well as opportunities for the expansion of the sports industry,’ Ioannis explains.

Evangelos recalls that the pair’s initial idea was to find ways to progress the UN Sustainable Development Goals across the sports industry. They signed up to STARTAB to help them turn that concept into reality. ‘We aimed to acquire the entrepreneurial skills offered by the programme to build the business case for sustainability in sports, and apply it in the south European sports industry,’ he says.

Today, as pioneers in sports sustainability, Ioannis and Evangelos’ vision is to become innovative game-changers in the world of sports. They are already well on their way. The Sports Footprint’s consultancy model generates a multiplier effect, enabling their small team to make a big impact, acting as a catalyst for change within other organisations.

‘We would advise all young ambitious people to try fulfilling their dreams, without forgetting to enjoy every piece of the process,’ says Ioannis. ‘That is what makes a life successful.’

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