The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) - a partnership between the Mayor of London and London’s Boroughs dedicated to improving waste and resource management within the capital, with the aim of turning London into a circular city - has launched a new program called Advanced London to support SMEs in adopting and scaling up circular business models.
Opening in January 2017, Advance London will provide free advice and practical help to SMEs based in London that are working in the circular economy space. It’ll work with small businesses and entrepreneurs to identify emerging opportunities and to develop demonstrations of the value and benefits that can be unlocked through a circular economy. The program will work closely within LWARB’s program of activities, including hosting a series of events and workshops, providing one-to-one business support to SMEs and working with existing circular enterprises to enable further growth, overcome barriers and improve competitiveness.
“London is host to several circular economy leaders,” said Wayne Hubbard, chief operating officer of LWARB. “The nature of the circular economy requires collaboration throughout the supply chain and changes the way businesses interact with consumers. As more and more businesses ‘go circular,’ new opportunities will emerge for SMEs to bring innovation solutions to overcome the challenges that businesses face in this transition. We want London to be a world leader in nurturing circular economy businesses.”
The European Regional Development Fund and LWARB will jointly fund the three-year program, which will support LWARB’s wider investment initiatives dedicated to supporting SMEs within the circular economy.
LWARB’s commitment to helping smaller London businesses become circular augments growing efforts in Europe to foster a broadscale transition to a circular economy: In December, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank adapted EU financial tools to help circular economy projects and businesses secure funding and support the realization of EU climate goals - the changes opened €24 billion (~US$26.4B) in funding for businesses looking to transition to a circular model; and in January, Novelis and Unilever partnered with Forum for the Future to develop two free tools to empower designers and businesses of all sizes to make decisions that accelerate the shift towards a more circular economy.