Based on the EU new Circular Economy Action Plan (2020), in the past decade, millions of tones of European waste has been exported to non-EU countries, often without sufficient consideration of proper waste treatment. In many cases, waste exports result both in negative environmental and health impacts in the countries of destination, and in loss of resources and economic opportunities for the recycling industry in the EU. This approach facilitates the linear model which is exhausting our planet and polluting the environment. Thus, the horizontal priority of the RE-START project is to support students in HEIs in acquiring and developing essential skills and key competences in order to adopt an environmental- friendly approach in their attempt to develop a start-up. This project consists of the transition to a sustainable economic system is an indispensable part of the new EU industrial strategy. RE-START project encourages and guides students in HEIs to develop a circular start-up or transform their business idea into a circular one following the definition of the circular start-ups which characterizes them as business models based on implementing at least one of the Circular Economy (CE) strategies: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover and Regenerate.’’RE-START aims to develop a circular start-up training programme that enhances the entrepreneurial mindset considering circular economy principles and competences of HEIs students, provides them with real-life examples of successful circular entrepreneurs, and encourages them to support and commercialise their circular start-up..
The RE-START project is expected to have a big impact on its target groups, such as students, academics, trainers, entrepreneurs. Participating students will gain an entrepreneurial knowledge through the lenses of circular economy, enhance their transversal skills, get inspired and obtain advice from successful entrepreneurs and mentors and experience the process from an idea to a circular business plan. This will help them circumvent their fear of failure, cope with risks and become more employable. The students will become entrepreneurs who will be able to use the materials effectively creating more value, both by cost savings and by developing new markets or growing existing ones. The main target group who will participate in all activities through the project, will gain an access point to incubators, innovation centres, professional consultants and business experts. Furthermore, the project aims to support students on developing new ventures but also to show them how to commercialize their business and innovative ideas by launching a university spin-off. It is a fact that universities as organized institutions are reluctant to commercialize innovative research in order to establish start-ups or spin-offs on their own. Academics and trainers will become more competent in teaching circular business models and in engaging in activities that reinforce Circular Economy. Local startups, entrepreneurs, investors and incubators will be able to explore new opportunities by collaborating with aspiring students holding a great experience of creating a circular business model, through which innovative ideas are more likely to occur and develop into profitable businesses.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use that might be made of the information contained therein. 2021-1-CY01-KA220-HED-000032155
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