Just a couple of months to graduate from high school, Mauricio Saettone is already working as a sustainable entrepreneur towards promoting environmental conscience among the global population.
The 18-year-old is well versed in the subjects of environmental economics and psychology and keen on their applications to the business world.
His first initiative is a leading environmental non-profit organization that helps shape economic policy and promotes emerging sustainable businesses, all with the aim to generate global awareness about climate change.
His desire to help people through his ventures, together with his relentless dedication to work has put him on the path to inspire the global population, especially younger audiences.
Despite his early age, Mauricio is well on track to solve worldwide environmental problems by harnessing business as a force of good.
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
My name is Mauricio Saettone, an 18-year-old kick-starting his career as a sustainable entrepreneur as the founder and CEO of EnvironmentalE, a nonprofit organization promoting environmental economics to solve the world’s most urgent environmental issues.
Many of my aims and aspirations I believe are shaped by where I grew up. I was born and raised in Lima, Peru where I found myself surrounded by the natural world: the Pacific Ocean and Coastal Dessert, the Andes, and the Amazon Rainforest. During the whole of my childhood, I spent my free time surfing, hiking, and exploring remote places, from which I developed a great affection towards nature.
During the last few years, it has been disturbing to see the extent to which anthropogenic activities and other schemes are eroding these ecosystems. Having witnessed forests disappear due to illegal mining and raising cattle, in between other environmental tragedies, I’ve personally acknowledged the implications these have on society.
Most, if not all environmental problems are directly correlated to poverty, inequality, and the ability of our natural resources to sustain a surging world population.
This is what essentially inspired me to start EnvironmentalE. Since the beginning, I viewed it as a non-profit where individuals interested in spurring environmental action could collaborate with their different perspectives and experiences towards shaping economic policy and promoting environmental education regardless of race, nationality, or socioeconomic status.
Today, we work with over 60 members from all around the world, which is truly mesmerizing to me.
Where did the name EnvironmentalE come from?
The name “EnvironmentalE” stems from “The Environmental Economist”. Our mission is defined by three fundamental pillars that we have Identified: Environmental Economics, Environmental Education, and Innovation.
We formulated these three pillars following the belief that any country eager to tackle environmental issues should first establish the appropriate economic policy to incentivize the necessary private sector innovation whilst promoting environmental awareness among its population. Thus, our name essentially describes our organization’s philosophy.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that actually motivates and drives you?
I believe that as an entrepreneur, whether you are employing people, selling goods and services, or disrupting key industries, you have the power to improve people’s life.
Therefore, what genuinely drives me is the ability to create and preserve value for society while changing people’s lives for good.
One of my main aspirations is to aid the development of breakthrough technologies to fight climate change, whilst helping society cope with the effects of a worsening climate. With climbing temperatures, we will not only face severe natural disasters more frequently but there are major socio-economic implications too.
Rising sea levels will either force entire cities to evacuate or coerce governments to spend billions of dollars on new coastal infrastructure. As major farmlands become unfertile, harvesting seasons will shrink, leading to major food shortages and inflation. We will also have to live through new viruses alike the coronavirus. These are some of the many challenges humanity will have to go through if the climate crisis further unfolds.
Therefore, contributing towards fighting a problem that will affect humanity as a whole, all whilst preserving the magnificence of nature, is my true motivation.
What are you working on at the moment?
At EnvironmentalE, we are working on furthering one of our newest projects, one where we become the magnifying voice for emerging sustainable businesses. We are currently conducting outreach to small businesses, organizations, and environmental activists, having several interviews, editing them as well as reinforcing our marketing strategy to expand our content’s reach. Apart from every other aspect of the organization, we are allocating most of our time to this new venture.
With regards to other projects, I’ve always wanted to enter the carbon offset retail industry. So, for the whole of 2021, I’ve been planning and setting up Zeecko Ltd, a new online carbon offset retailer. We sell verified carbon offsets from avoided deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon to small businesses and individuals wishing to compensate for their carbon footprint.
Although we are already fully working and selling, we are still pilot testing to verify the different components of our entire system under real-time operating conditions.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself as a leading entrepreneur, formulating economic policy and working closely with climate-action technologies perhaps within climate-driven sectors such as agriculture.
My success will be solely based on social impact, so in five years, I hope to be at the point where I’m improving millions of people’s lives.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
A book that really gave me perspective as an entrepreneur has been Peter Thiel’s “Zero to One”. It describes in detail fundamental concepts, history, and theories that every entrepreneur should be aware of, mapping a step-by-step guide to create value in this world. Thiel, one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, also reflects his own business philosophy, which is one hundred percent worth learning from.
I would recommend this book to anyone working in a startup, willing to innovate, or just trying to look for new ideas to create. if followed step by step, “Zero to One” is basically a guide map for success.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
As someone who started at the age of 17, my best advice would be to just go for it. You don’t have to wait until the perfect moment comes, neither until you’ve graduated from school or university. With passion, commitment, and discipline, you are set to pursue your entrepreneurial goals.
Focus on what you love and direct your attention to what you strive to achieve. You will learn about yourself, others, and life in the process and will come across numerous failures before reaching success. That’s the essence of the entrepreneurial life.
Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, and above all, don’t let anyone get in the path of your own aspirations.
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