• Circular Economy

    How can we ensure that communities contribute to a circular economy and ensure environmental sustainability through smart circular innovation?

    Low Carbon City

    COLOMBIA - A citizen-led global movement working to tackle climate change in cities

    Business Model: We have developed a portfolio of services tailored to the public, social and private sector. These services include hosting of events and workshops to educate citizens, creative communication campaigns, climate change policies plans for companies and the construction of Low Carbon Neighborhoods along with the public sector.

    Since we started we have developed a network of 42 strategic partners including international organizations, universities, companies, NGOs and the public sector. Our international partners include AFD, CAF (Latin American Development Bank), USAID, Ecocity Builders, Connect4Climate and GAP. Those partners support us with financial and in-kind contributions, and also hire us to develop the aforementioned projects.


    Solution: Citizens are not consider as part of the solution to tackle climate change in their cities. But if they are aware of their contribution to the problem, educated about climate change, and connected with likeminded people it would be possible to have more resilient and livable cities, responding to climate change challenges.

    Low Carbon City is a citizen-led global movement building collective solutions to tackle climate change in cities. We educate citizens using creative, participatory, and artistic tools to enhance climate friendly lifestyles. We connect citizens with experts and champions to exchange knowledge and collaborate, and We co-create and implement solutions within communities for building low carbon and more resilient cities. Through citizen empowerment, communication, mobilization, and co-creation, Low Carbon City's goal is to foster low carbon resilient districts within cities with sustainable modes of transport (walking, cycling and public transport), zero-waste solutions, local markets with climate friendly products and services, community-driven urban orchards and breathable green public spaces.

    Since its creation in December 2015 in Medellin- Colombia, to date, Low Carbon City has mobilized over 24.000 people, it has developed more than 300 activities, workshops, and tactical urbanism, has developed 2 world Low Carbon City Forums with more than 4.000 participants from 48 countries; and it has a global ambassador city network of over 100 cities, promoting bottom up solutions to tackle climate change.


    Impact: The priority of the initiative is the empowerment of citizens, communities and citizen-led initiatives in a multi-stakeholder platform to raise awareness, change behaviors and, take actions, to tackle climate change in their cities. Engaging with the community and sharing knowledge in a multicultural environment through creative and cultural activities like workshops, tactical urbanism, contests and events where citizens participate give opinions and contribute to solutions. Our Platform include all sectors and actors, we promote partnerships with the academic, private and public sector and have international and national experts to share their experiences from a citizen perspective.


    As a result, we have achieved a better coordination and integration between various actors, organizations or institutions; Changes in local, national or regional social, economic and environmental policies and strategies; Improved institutional capacity at the national, sub-national or local levels; Changes to local or national decision-making, including the institutionalization of partnerships; Recognizing and addressing specific opportunities and constraints; Changes in the use and allocation of human, technical and financial resources at the local/national level; Changes in people's attitudes, behavior and in the respective roles of women and men.


    Revenue: $50000


    2018 Goals: We expect as results of our work, a big number of social actors working on the construction on solutions and projects that have a big impact on GHG emission reduction in the long run. We expect to grow our ambassador city program to 500, to develop the Low Carbon City Forum in Paris in September, and to reach 50.000 people through our activities world wide.


    Featured on:

    - Here, pages 91-93

    - Here, page 28

    Founder’s profile: Juliana is co-founder and co-director of Low Carbon City, a citizen-led global movement working to tackle climate change in cities. She has focused her career in international cooperation for the development and sustainability, working, volunteering and leading different social and environmental causes in public, private and academic sector in organizations like UN-Habitat, UNDP, Amnesty International, AIESEC, La Ciudad Verde, among others.


    From an academic perspective, she has been researching about low carbon development and post-2020 climate change governance. She has a BS in finance and international relations Postgraduate studies in political studies, and international cooperation. MA in environmental studies MA in international studies from Korea University. In 2017 she became the first colombian to win the American Echoing Green climate change Fellow.



    - Echoing Green Climate Fellow 2017


    Reinvestment to social business: 100%

    Doing randomised control trials to assess success: No

    Pearl Recycling

    NIGERIA - To reduce environmental toxicity, ozone layer depletion and create wealth for the poor through waste remodeling.

    Business Model: The Modernized Direct Sales Model


    Solution: Thirty thousand metric tonnes of waste are generated daily in Lagos Nigeria. 70% of the waste ends up in drainage and on the street aiding flood issues. 10% are burnt openly emitting poisonous gases into the environment.

    We solve waste management problem through remodeling and re-conversion of waste into sustainable furniture for homes and offices.

    In a country where more than 75% are living on less than a dollar a day, hardly do you have people living in a decent home. We provide eco-design, waste remodeled sustainable furniture at an affordable price, We reduce poverty and unemployment by training uneducated women and youths on waste remodeling technology. We reduce waste through our waste remodeling scheme by transforming over 700 tonnes of waste daily. We sensitize the public on the need to embrace circular economy and create extra income for the poor through our "trash for pay" scheme which awards monetary value for trash deposited with us.


    Impact: We have improved standard of living for the underprivileged by making decent home furniture available at fraction the cost.

    We have remodeled 5,000 metric tonnes of waste thereby saving the environment and people from toxic substances emitted by burning wastes and prevented diseases outbreak. We have trained over fifty women and created three hubs in major cities in Nigeria in other to remodel waste. We have sensitized over four hundred thousand Nigerians on the need to reuse and recycle waste.


    Revenue: $5000


    2018 Goals: Presentation of twenty (20) ergonomic classroom chairs remodeled from waste to 19 public schools in Lagos.

    Organize Recycling training across twenty public schools in Nigeria and train over 400 students on recycling.

    Increase our Recycling Hub from three states ( Lagos, Abuja and Oyo) to five more states. Partner with Nigerian Stock Exchange to create the first Green Room at the NSE building in Marina.


    Featured on:

    - Reuters
    - Washington Post
    - Al-Jazeera
    - ChannelsTV
    - Africa24
    - Naij.com
    - TVC
    - Eco-Africa
    - AbidjanPlus
    - German DW

    Founder’s profile: Olamide is a proven Information System Engineer with eight years Information Technology experience, four years out of it was spent as Business development and Design Engineer.



    - In 2016, selected as one of Tony Elumelu foundation Entrepreneur.

    - In 2017, selected by LEAP Africa as one of the social innovators.


    Reinvestment to social business: 100%

    Doing randomised control trials to assess success: Yes


    INDONESIA - Collaborates local artisan with designer to create product from waste

    Business Model: Kitatimba sells handmade product created by designer and traditional artisan. Using waste as main material, mostly from furniture industry, and fashion industry waste, coffee grind waste, and agricultural waste. We also offer making activity and Do It Yourself workshop for everyone who want to learn new skills guided by the artisan. Platform for artisan, designer, and customer who interested in offering or order custom and personalized products.


    Solution: Problem to solve: Disconnectedness between people in the city, traditional community and rural area, also the nature.

    Solution: Create inclusive economy model that encourage professionals to collaborate with local artisan, farmers, housewives, and disable people, creating community business by making product from waste.

    How does it make impact:
    1. Create strong understanding and connection between communities.
    2. Create fair wealth and resource distribution by engage all aspect in the community.
    3. Give more opportunity, access to information, technology, and knowledge for everyone.


    Impact: We created value added to the waste up to 300% and did a capacity building on management system, financial literacy, and product development. We teach the beneficiaries to optimize social media on marketing and distribution.


    Since 2015, we already had:
    Social impact
    - 128 Designers and youth involved in capacity building.
    - 297 Traditional artisan, housewives, and people with disability involved in production, marketing, and product development.
    - 18 rural communities engaged in hosting our activities.
    - 27 Local government, national, and international. organization being exposed to our mission.


    Economic impact
    - 3 artisan get jobs by engaging in our production activity.
    - 2 designers involved full time in our business.
    - 3 rural communities developed as tourism village.
    - 1,000 kilogram waste transformed into products.
    - 800 products created and sold.


    Revenue: $15,000


    2018 Goals:

    - February 2018 Finish small scale trial on coffee grind products. Finish module development for visual impaired/people with disability.
    - March 2018 Finish technology development and product prototyping for disposable leaves cutlery.
    - April 2018 Exhibition in Hamburg/ Amsterdam
    - May 2018 Replication in West Java
    - June 2018 Q2 target sales achieved
    - July 2018 Collaboration project with Malaysian Government
    - August 2018 Exhibition in Moskow and scaling up in Banjarnegara community.
    - Q 4 2018 Preparation for Europe


    - 2019 Preparation for collaboration with Alexander von Humdolt Foundation/ Robert Bosch Stiftung.
    Core product diversification.
    Replication in eastern Indonesia.

    - 2020 Preparation for Japan/Korea market with ASEAN-Japan Youth.
    Oversea team development.


    Featured on:

    - Deutschland

    - UN Environment

    others found on Indonesian websites.

    Founder’s profile: Awaludin has an engineering background and is very good in analytic, and system thinking. He's experienced in multinational construction company and understand strategic thinking. He also has 4 years of experience in community development and involve with Ashoka foundation, knows ASEAN grassroot and burreaucracy environment, and abled to engage with various stakeholder. He has done 4 researches in product development. He also possesses intermediate carpentry skills.



    - Stanford go2 Market Program by Malaysian GLobal Innovation and Creativity Center 2017, Malaysia, 2017.
    - Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Silicon Valley 2016.
    - Shell Livewire Finalist, Indonesia 2015

    - Scholarship to study about business and startup from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
    - Free admission for Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016
    - Appreciation micro funding from Sell Livewire $250


    Reinvestment to social business: 20%

    Doing randomised control trials to assess success: Yes

    Strauss Energy

    KENYA - Aims to improve livelihoods by increasing household incomes from the sale of power off their roofs using solar energy.

    Business Model: Strauss Energy sells electricity to both the homeowners and the national utility grid. The power is generated from the innovative solar roofing tiles we manufacture and provide. The customer, Kenya Power (KPLC), pays Strauss Energy $0.12 per KWh generated and homeowners pay a heavily discounted $20 per square meter at the beginning as deposit for the tiles and approximately $10 on a recurring monthly basis for their electricity supply for 25 years.


    We recoup the cost of the Stima roofing tiles within 4 years and thereafter make passive income for the remaining 21 years. On average, Strauss Energy expects a home to purchase 350 units once off covering 100 square meters of roof space. The cumulative gross margin per customer is $280 per square meter of roof coverage and 70% gross margin for a period of 20 years.

    Our Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is expected to exceed our Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) within 4 years and thereafter make passive income for the remaining 21 years.


    Solution: Access to modern energy services is still severely limited across the globe, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, leading to energy poverty. More than 600 million people do not have access to electricity and approximately 730 million people rely on traditional biomass. Lack of access to reliable electricity limits economic opportunities and hinders health care and education improvements, among other things. Dependence on firewood and biomass for household energy contributes to environmental degradation, adverse health effects, and climate change, leading to air pollution as well as deforestation, land degradation and desertification. Moreover, about 600,000 people in Africa die each year as a result of indoor air pollution.

    Like many African countries, Kenya has a paltry installed capacity of 2.4GW, projected to grow to about 3,400MW by 2017 and 15,000 MW by 2030. Kenya, being on the equator, has an average of 300 clear sunny days in a year, approximately equal to 900 trillion kWh/year, providing an opportunity to use solar for energy generation. However, only a tiny fraction of this resource is harnessed for commercial and household activities including crop and animal products drying, water heating, pumping and electricity generation.


    Solar photovoltaic technology is rapidly gaining ground and as the technology matures, capacity will increase due to the introduction of nanotechnology, and Strauss Energy is tapping to this to create impact in the communities. The overall effect of the uptake of the Stima roofing tiles would lead to a reduction in the national GHG emissions with a cumulative effect of increasing the social return on investment, resulting in an economically empowered society that is characterized by increased productivity.


    Impact: We have in the last 20 months commissioned a 2.5kWh system in a school in central Kenya to power their computer lab, provide power for lighting and electrical equipment use and a little extra to run a pump for a greenhouse project that would generate the school revenue from sale of produce.


    The project involved the installation of the solar photo voltaic integrated roofing tiles on a class room at Gaitheri Secondary School as part of a pilot project in order to test the scalability of this technology in schools. The school has greatly benefited by re-introducing computer classes in line with the directive from the Ministry of Education on digital education and is also looking to scale up the project to generate more power and serve the neighbouring community.


    Through the same project, Gaitheri Secondary School was named a finalist in the Zayed Future Energy Prize, High School Category. This offered a teacher and student a chance to visit Abu Dhabi for their first time ever. Lastly, and very close to my heart, is that the girls in the school are motivated to take up STEM courses. Having watched our team (that included girls) up on the roof during the installation of the tiles, the girls' dreams were validated that they too, can take up tough STEM courses and be leaders on their path.


    Revenue: In 2017, Strauss Energy made $57,000 in revenue from our first paying customer, whose residential house we roofed.


    2018 Goals: 2018 and beyond promises great growth for Strauss Energy. Top on our list is to establish a proper balance between profitability and social impact of all our projects in order to find a sustainable path for the business. Our project pipeline for 2018-2020 is very exciting.

    We are looking to close some of the following projects:
    1.Tea factory in Kericho, approximately KES 345 million. The factory is cognizant of their emissions and are looking for a solution to reduce the same and clean up their environment.
    2.1400 house units at Stima Sacco, Kitengela. The real estate developer will not only abide by statutory requirement of having renewable energy solution for water heating, but also create a self-sustainable community that generates its own power.
    3.73.5kWp system at Tungo Place, Lower Kabete, approximate KES 26 million.
    4.Mini-grid project at Turkana in partnership with Astonfield, appx. $100 million.
    5.Show houses at Longonot Gate and Makuyu Ridge Development.


    Featured on:

    - World Economic Forum

    - World Bank

    - Business Daily Africa

    - Business Daily Africa

    - Business Daily Africa
    - Nation Kenya
    - Standard Media Kenya
    - Standard Media Kenya
    - Media Max Network Kenya

    - Boatcamp 2017
    - African Women in Science and Engineering

    - Medium

    Founder’s profile: Charity is the Chief Operating Officer. My role involves building, implementing, and overseeing the firm’s systems, processes, workflows, and procedures. I am also involved in spearheading the development, communication and implementation of effective growth strategies and processes. I hold leadership certification from Babson College’s Centre for Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership in Boston, USA, a Master of Project Management in Construction and Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) from JKUAT. I am a registered architect with BORAQS, and corporate member of the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) and Institute for the Management of Information Systems (IMIS). Previously, I worked with Planning Interiors Limited, UNHCR and Aga Khan University Hospital (Project Office).


    - Strauss Energy won the 2017 “Growing Business Award” at Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE) under Africa Leadership Network (ALN).

    - Strauss Energy’s pilot project at Gaitheri Secondary School was instrumental in the school being named as a finalist in the High School Category of Zayed Future Energy Prize 2017.

    - In 2016, Strauss Energy won the People’s Choice Award for the most promising company that will change the way people roof, power their houses and institutions as well as contribute towards bridging the energy gap in the continent at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Silicon Valley.

    - In August 2016, Strauss Energy was among five winners of DEMO Africa competition, conducted by Lions@frica in Johannesburg, South Africa.


    Similarly, I have been presented several honors and awards. Some notable ones are:
    - In 2017, I became a TechWomen fellow, a program under the Economic and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State; received WiSTEM Awards 2017, “Exemplary Leader in a Management Position” award and named as one among six African “Female tech entrepreneurs” by the World Economic Forum. I was also nominated as “East Africa Businesswoman of the Year” for All Africa Business Leaders Award (AABLA).
    - In 2016, I was awarded as one among 40 most influential women in Kenya under the 2016 Business Daily "Top40Under40” and nominated as a finalist in EAPIC’s 2016 “Future Energy Leader Award” category at the Industry Awards.

    - In 2015, I was crowned as People’s Choice winner in the energy category, in 1776 Global Competition.


    Reinvestment to social business: 0%

    Doing randomised control trials to assess success: Yes


    ESTONIA - Our mission is to reinvent 3D printing in a sustainable way, enabling manufacturers to produce any kind of wooden objects out of recyclable leftover materials, increasing resource productivity.

    Business Model: We are firstly targeting furniture producing companies and designers, using B2B marketing strategies (direct sales, meetings, media, the internet and native advertising). As the customer experience is getting more and more important we will also focus on executive branding to build trustworthy relationships.
    Another important part of our business model is based on leasing the product and organizing workshops to bring access and greater value to the communities. When we build several working prototypes, we'll open workshops (in Fab Labs, Impact Hubs, schools), and get orders from customers for printing home decorations or furniture for them. That will increase the awareness about the device ability and possibilities.


    Solution: There are 2 problems that we solve:
    Firstly, the inefficient use of left-over materials like sawdust. Secondly, the use of plastic in 3D printing industry, which causes damage to the environment, human health and contributes to resource scarcity.
    3D printing technology is revolutionizing the way things are being produced and it’s evolving fast. Now it’s possible to make high quality products 10 times faster at half the cost of previous generation 3D printers. But 88% of all the materials used in this industry is plastic. Printing with plastic causes damage to human health, environment and contributes to resource scarcity. We wish to solve this situation by combining the benefits of 3D printing with sustainable leftover materials to create new value objects.

    If we integrate the concept of circular economy with 3D printing we get a new innovation - 3D Sawdust Printer. Combining sawdust with non toxic binders makes it possible to print any kind of wooden objects fast and easy, saving money and the environment. It gives furniture producers wider design freedom, enabling them to create complicated objects that cannot be realized with traditional woodworking methods.

    Producing with 3D printing will be especially helpful when releasing short series, or products with complex shapes, or if spare parts are needed fast. It can improve quality through lighter parts and better ergonomics. 90% of furniture waste in the EU is not recycled. Our method can also be used in the repairing industry, which makes the overall life-cycle of products longer.

    We wish to make our solution available in communities as well by offering workshops to introduce the possibilities of sustainable 3D printing and increase awareness about circular economy with a zero-waste midset.


    Impact: Right now we have spread awareness among the community and our target groups about circular economy and the innovation that will soon hit the market. Established partnerships will help us in doing that as well.


    Revenue: We haven't made any revenue or profit yet.


    2018 Goals:

    - Upgrading the second prototype
    - Printing the first products
    - Entering the market
    - Open first workshops


    Featured on:

    - Tallinn Television, local newspaper, on different websites, etc)

    - featured on national TV for attending "Ajujaht" business competition

    Founder’s profile: Kaisa is the team leader and a business developer. She has a background in Economics and Sustainability Studies. Her passion is sustainable development, circular economy and social entrepreneurship. We have Marta, our creative thinker and designer. She has a M.A in product design, focusing on wood and sustainability. Putting all this talent together, we are making this innovation work.



    - Winner of Garage48 Circular Economy 2017.
    - Awarded the direct passes to Ajujaht TOP30 business idea competition and Prototron TOP40 competition.


    Reinvestment to social business: 100%

    Doing randomised control trials to assess success: Yes, in the future


    UK - Making sustainable living a norm.

    Business Model: Enabling organisations to engage and reward them for living sustainably, via gamified challenges.


    Solution: Sustainability is the challenge of our time. The problem set is broad - climate change, food waste, air quality, drinkable water, energy efficiency, clean oceans. They have a common root cause in the culture of waste and over-consumption that is embedded in society and which fuel our economic model. At the same time, the fastest growing purchasing and employment decision influencer is the green reputation of a business, but businesses struggle to embed purpose in their organisations. Greengame can automatically track people's activities that impact the environment and we enable any organisation to engage and reward them for living sustainably, via gamified challenges.


    We have just entered our commercial pilot phase. These pilots are initially focussed on employee engagement programs and our first customers include a large UK bank, two FMCG retailers, a professional sports team, a city council, a university and a division of the National Health Service (NHS).



    Easy: Our tech can automatically track people’s activities that impact the environment - with no manual entry, whatsoever.


    Inclusive: By creating social, competitive and economic incentives that can appeal to anyone. And by making it in the interest of everyone else - cities, brands, corporates and more - to have a positive impact on the environment and on people’s every-day life.


    Incentivising: By enabling Cities, Brands and any other organization to engage and reward people for living sustainably, through gamified challenges.


    Revenue: We were pre-revenue last year and until two weeks ago.


    2018 Goals: We will focus on commercial pilots for the first half of the year. These are a great way for large organisations to say yes and provide us both with invaluable product feedback and revenue to extend our bootstrapped operation. Our next significant milestone is the launch of a large scale public event in the fall 2018 - The UK Sustainable Cities Tournament - which we're organising with the Future Cities Catapult. This will scale revenue (sponsorship fees), operations (full time hires), as well as institutional and individual users.


    Featured on:

    - Startacus



    Founder’s profile: Cristian Parrino co-founded Greengame with Victor Palau (CTO). Victor and Cristian worked together previously for several years - they created the Ubuntu Phone and broke crowdfunding records with the Ubuntu Edge campaign on Indiegogo. They have complementary skills (Cristian: product & business vision, marketing, business development, fundraising; Victor: product development and engineering), strong trust and a well oiled working dynamic.

    Thank you for completing the assessment for the Circular Economy category!

    It is a pleasure to welcome you as one of the judges to The Collective Global Accelerator 2018! CGA is a global programme that recognises outstanding social entrepreneurs and startup businesses which are tackling urban challenges in the fields of human connection, health & well-being, education & opportunity, and circular economy.


    The announcement of the results will be made on the 7th of March 2018. All 11 invited participants will experience a life-changing and fully-funded 4-week residential accelerator from the 4th of June until the 1st of July 2018. The Collective Foundation reserves the right to admit a participant to the programme who is not included in the shortlist.


    The Demo Day will be held on the 29th of June 2018 and invitations will be sent out to you in due course, we hope to welcome you there!