This is a blog post in the series “Resources for impact entrepreneurs”: Growth Opportunities for Impact Entrepreneurs. Part 5: Sustainability & Circular Economy Programs.
Island Innovation: Fellowship Program, allowing interns to gain valuable experience working in a social enterprise within the sustainable development sector.
Networks & Mentorship Support:
Future Hub: matching startup solutions with enterprise sustainability challenges.
SAIRA: a digital matchmaking platform that tackles the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by bringing established experts together with upstart innovators and facilitating long-term initiatives.
BSR: a global network of member companies, thought leaders, peers, and stakeholders—all focused on creating viable sustainability solutions.
Women in Cleantech and Sustainability: a network of professionals to further the roles of women in growing the green economy and making a positive impact on the environment.
Global Green Connect: an integrated sustainability network that provides a business accelerator program in Asia.
Google: Startup Advisor: SDG Program, empowering an ecosystem of entrepreneurs to reach the SDGs.
IIX: Impact Partners PitchFest Series, a virtual, global initiative to find, support, and accelerate capital raising efforts for exceptional impact enterprises that are driving UN’s SDGs in Africa&Middle East.
Awards, Hackathons, and Competitions:
EIT Manufacturing, Whirlpool EMEA, voestalpine, and EROSKI: BoostUp! BRIDGE, seeking to address challenges and solutions under EIT Manufacturing’s flagship: Low Environmental Footprint Systems & Circular Economy for Green Manufacturing.
EIT Circular Economy Community: Circular Economy Prize for SME or start-up with an innovative service, technology, or product around circular economy.
Impact Shakers: an award celebrating those who make it their mission to empower as many people as possible to contribute to, and share in the benefits of, sustainable economic growth.
Ocean Exchange: Collegiate monetary awards (grad & undergrad) in the field of sustainability
Global Good Awards: Sustainability Awards, run sustainably.
NCS: a hackathon to find innovative solutions for problems across three broad digital themes including Sustainability.
Unesda, Benedict Peax, Reflow, Pop-Machina: Making It Circular – Challenge 2021 for startups and social enterprises with a focus on plastics.
Dassault Systemes: Shape the World of Tomorrow Challenge, inviting students from all over Europe, with a focus on Northern European countries, to design innovative solutions that solve some of today’s biggest sustainability challenges using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Logrono, ecoembes, TheCircularLab: Circular Urban Challenge, a European competition between startups linked to the field of circular economy in which the best solutions are sought to address specific challenges that affect cities.
Enterprise Singapore: Sustainability Open Innovation Challenges for Startups and SMEs building a brighter future for the planet; sectors: sustainable materials, waste management, and many more.
Techstars Sustainability Challenge: equity-free challenge for startups tackling the planet’s toughest problems.
Enactus World Cup: showcasing elite sustainability projects designed by university students from 37 countries.
Stephen Lloyd Awards: supporting early stage projects that have real potential to achieve practical, sustainable social change.
Meaningful Business 100: an award programme celebrating leaders globally combining profit and purpose to help achieve the UN Global Goals.
WSA: Young Innovators, a special recognition for young people under 26 years of age, using ICTs to take action on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Kellogg-Morgan Stanley: Sustainable Investing Challenge, an annual competition for teams of graduate students from around the world to develop and pitch creative financial approaches to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges.
Entrepreneurship Campus: Adult category of the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition, an opportunity for entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs with an idea or project, a concept, solution, or initiative with a societal impact that champion and help implement one or more of the 17 SDGs.
Women In Africa, Coca-Cola Foundation: JAMII Femmes Initiative, aiming to increase the impact of African women entrepreneurs on the African economy and supporting the creation of innovative solutions for sustainable development that will contribute to positive change in Africa by improving the quality of life of tens of thousands of people.
ITU: AI4Good Innovation Factory Africa Challenge, seeking to identify the most innovative ideas and start-ups using AI to achieve the SDGs.
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy Korea: a contest to find new business ideas for a paradigm shift in the new industrial structure of the “Circular Economy”
Programs and Accelerators:
UNDP, Impact HUB: Accelerate2030, a global program supporting entrepreneurs from developing and emerging markets to scale their solutions towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Climate Changes Hub: Startup Pilot Program, looking for Startups working in environmental sustainability; startups are expected to set up an office in the Comunidad Valenciana Digital District.
Sociedade Ponto Verde: digital open innovation program, focused on circular economy and digital disruption of packaging waste.
Accenture, World Economic Forum: Circulars Accelerator ’22, an action-oriented, a six-month accelerator program for early-to-growth-stage companies developing innovations towards a more circular economy.
Circular Valley: Circular Economy Accelerator for all start-ups with business concepts for the circular economy; the accelerator takes place in Wuppertal.
gener8tor: accelerating and Investing in Sustainability Tech Startups; while this program will be virtually held, parts of the program may be held in Chicago, Illinois if safety permits.
Startup Wise Guys: Sustainability Accelerator, meant for B2B startups with solid and passionate teams, global ambitions, and the power to execute; online and offsite format for startups from anywhere.
IMPACT KOMMONS: an accelerator for tech startups that have a combination of sustainability and business viability values.
Impact Club Accelerator: accelerating the creation of measurable social impact within the focus themes (SDGs), incl.sustainability.
Startupbootcamp: digital 3-month accelerators for high-growth tech startups; the sectors include sustainability.
Future Hub: Open Innovation Sustainability Accelerator, a kickstarter for startup & enterprise co-creation; five sustainability and GreenTech areas; geography: Baltic countries.
The Difference Incubator: accelerator programs designed to help businesses at all stages of growth to set themselves up for long-term sustainability and social or environmental impact across the world.
Toyota and ISDI: Toyota Startup Accelerator program, looking for innovative solutions in the startup ecosystem that work in the fields of comprising Circular Economy of Plastics and Life Cycle Footprint Ecosystem.
RaiseV: Startup Accelerator Programs and Corporate venturing Programs focusing on the convergence of the top influential technologies – IoT, AI & Blockchain – and four focus areas that ought to benefit from it, incl.circular economy.
100Accelerator: an accelerator for innovative solutions that have the ability to scale quickly and make a significant impact on one or more of the challenge areas (incl.circular packaging).
World Fair Trade Organisation, European Union: Small but Perfect, an accelerator programme of mentoring, funding and showcasing that connects fashion businesses across borders by encouraging transnational collaboration and transition to circular and sustainable models.
MAJ Ventures: selecting projects that have a positive impact on people and nature, tackling one of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.
Rockstart: funding and empowering founders with unique insights into cutting-edge technologies and the ability to develop solutions for universal problems.
Startupbootcamp: a publicly listed startup accelerator focused on the best startups working on Sustainable Development Goals.
Other helpful blog posts: