There is a pressing need to address environmental problems such as resource depletion, climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, etc. and transition to a more sustainable socio technical system. To address these challenges, the concept of the Circular Economy (CE) has recently gained significant importance. Central to this relatively new sustainability paradigm is the emphasis on new business models (BM’s).
All over the world, mission driven entrepreneurs are bringing fresh, disruptive innovations to market in response to some of these challenges. The potential is there, and many sustainability oriented incubators are appearing, but this phenomenon is far from mainstream and not methodologically implemented. On the contrary, even some basic knowledge on how to reactively deal with environmental and social regulatory and societal demands is absent from the training offers and counselling many incubators offer to start-ups.
The idea of CircularStart is grounded on the recognition that there is a lack of know-how and training of start-ups and entrepreneurs in the field of sustainability, CE and their opportunities In order to be successful, this knowledge needs to be easily integrated into the business idea development and decision making process, i e there is a need for training supported by practical tools that are compatible with well-known BM development methods like e. g. the Business Model Canvas.