Circular Economy Catalyst

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are an important part of the private sector in both India and Kenya, providing employment to approximately 7.5 million people in Kenya and over 110 million people in India. Many enterprises, however, experience financial, skills and market challenges to starting and growing sustainable businesses. This limits their ability to generate income, create jobs for women and young people, and address environmental issues in their community.

Supporting entrepreneurs to build and grow profitable businesses in the circular economy can catalyse the transition to green, circular and inclusive economies. The Circular Economy Catalyst will work with partners such as business advisors and financers to support over 220 entrepreneurs in the circular economy in India and Kenya to create profitable circular economy business models. These business models will generate income for communities, positive environmental impacts such as waste reduction and water savings, and provide more than 8,700 jobs, both directly and through distribution and supplier partnerships.

Through the project, aspiring entrepreneurs join workshops to replicate proven circular economy business models; early stage enterprises receive ideation support to jumpstart their business; and advanced enterprises have the opportunity to apply for a Circular Economy Award, to receive a matching grant and tailored catalyser and acceleration support. The project also trains Business Advisors on circular economy enterprise toolkits, engages the enterprise finance ecosystem to prototype solutions to deliver finance to circular economy enterprises, and shares key impact insights and case studies with the wider ecosystem.

The project will build on the success of adelphi's Green Entrepreneurship projects and the SEED project, which has seen 88% of enterprises receiving comprehensive support between 2005-2018 remain in business, generating an average of over 28 direct jobs, 80 distribution jobs and 130 jobs within their suppliers.

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