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The ‘Knowledge Exchange for Entrepreneurship in Permaculture (KEEP)’ project is funded by the ESRC-sponsored ISBE Research and Knowledge Exchange (RAKE) initiative. The project began on 1 January and formally ended on September 30, 2016, though the partners aim to continue the collaboration.

KEEP is a collaboration between the Permaculture Association and Kingston University’s Small Business Research Centre (SBRC). The Permaculture Association aims to help people who want to start or develop small firms based on the principles of permaculture (ecological design and sustainable living) to do so.
Kingston University has an excellent reputation for supporting and researching entrepreneurship and through the SBRC will do both in relation to furthering the Permaculture Association’s aims, which involve setting up a permaculture enterprise hub, and improving the state of knowledge about sustainability-related entrepreneurship.

The aims of the project are to:

  • conduct preliminary research on the current state of permaculture enterprises and entrepreneurship;
  • identify and explore key factors underlying the success of permaculture enterprises;
  • identify, prepare and share case studies of outstanding permaculture enterprises;
  • develop knowledge resources and knowledge sharing processes which will encourage a new wave of permaculture-inspired enterprises;
  • and assist the Permaculture Association to create an enterprise hub


The project involves interviews with entrepreneurs running permaculture-based businesses. A wide range of beneficiaries will learn about how to set up successful permaculture businesses from the outputs of the project, which will include the first ever mapping of UK permaculture businesses, a Permaculture Enterprise Handbook and case studies, as well as research papers and presentations.

The project will provide practical support for practitioners in the form of permaculture enterprise workshops, and contributes to researcher development for an early career researcher.

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