A key challenge of this century is to create prosperity for all in a world of finite resources while the climate crisis develops. An answer to that challenge, but also a business and investment opportunity, is to implement and scale a circular economy, a framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2013). Startups can contribute to this and significantly accelerate the move towards a more circular economy (Bauwens T., 2019). In fact, the “Startup Economy” is growing two or three times faster than any other economy (Morelix A, 2020). However, the lack of access to finance, including financial aid, is one of the main barriers for the circular economy business to grow further (Aranda-Usón, 2019), including for “circular” startups (Bauwens T., 2019), a problem especially critical for “circular” startups, according to our preliminary research.
This research aims to determine how increased financial and circular economy literacy provides better financing opportunities for “circular” startups. In order to do this, the research will focus on the following main questions:
To answer the above questions, the authors propose an empirical investigation at global level, but focused on Colombia, Norway, and Spain, in which Design Thinking integrates Qualitative and Quantitative Research processes to collect primary data through a mix of surveys, workshops, and webinars, combined with secondary data from literature sources. This research expects to have the following outcomes:
Founder & Managing Director at SUST4IN, Lecturer, Lead Researcher. Director-level executive & entrepreneur with 20+ years' experience in sustainability in 30 countries.
Product specialist, with a background in industrial design and mechanical engineering. Working to build sustainable relationships between manufacturers and designers through innovation.
Business and Strategic designer with a brand identity background, working to develop products and companies with positive social and environmental impact.
As a strategic designer, my choice is to prepare for the next generation of innovative leaders, facing the cultural demands of a world that is not only profitable, but also ethical and sustainable.