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This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Business and Management.

Publication Details

This case was prepared by Dr. Thomas M. Cooney as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either the effective or ineffective handling of a business situation. The case was first published in the report "The Working Partnership:SMEs and Biodiversity (Dickson, B. et al). The case was written as part of the EU funded Probioprise project which was undertaken by Fauna and Flora International, EFMD and the European Bureau for Conservation and Development.


As Tom Heylen reflects upon his early days in business, he often wonders how his company Heylen bvba survived. He had left university after just one year of studying biology in order to pursue a business opportunity that he believed existed in the market and that needed to be acted upon without delay. About that time, nature had become modified to such an extent (particularly in Europe) that biodiversity could only be conserved through active management and restoration of the few natural areas which remained. Such management required innovation, specialised equipment, and knowledge in order to be successful. But those whom he spoke to for advice suggested that he should finish his degree first and then start the business. Nevertheless, Tom was passionate about the opportunity and wanted to pursue it immediately.




EU Probioprise Project