Sustainability is not enough. We need a new paradigm that moves away from a linear economy based on resource extraction. Circularity promises business a new purpose and a new role in the system based on stewardship and creating prosperity.
The Swiss-wide Impact Hub initiative has four mutually reinforcing activity strands – a startup incubator, a business lab, community building, and policy and research.
“We’re building an ecosystem for circularity”, says Amanda. “Incubation turns good ideas into viable business models, acceleration gets them off the ground, and the business lab will build links with SMEs and bring scale. And we’ll test ideas in the community as we go and make policy recommendations with our partner sanu Durabilitas.”
So far, launch events in the five Hub cities in Switzerland have revealed significant interest from the public as well as the business community. And from 2019, the incubator will create a community of impact-driven entrepreneurs, enabling around 30 start-ups to prototype and develop innovative solutions for circularity with support from high-level mentors, experts and impact investors.
In parallel, over the next three years, the business lab will engage around 30 SMEs in resource-intensive sectors like construction, textiles and electronics and focus on changing business models for circularity.
With SMEs making up 95% of the Swiss economy, shifting their ‘DNA’ from product to service provision, has huge potential for scaling to new markets and regions.
If not us …
Growing up witnessing her mother work with street children in Honduras, Amanda knew from a young age that she wanted to do something with social impact. And time spent hiking in the Alps as a child introduced Felix to nature and wildlife early on.
Amanda’s passion for development and Felix’s love of the environment led each of them to changemaking by separate paths but both saw the potential of Impact Hub to support local value-based communities with global impact.
Working through Impact Hub, I can create change in Switzerland and have an impact globally. Accelerate2030 is another programme we’re supporting that helps entrepreneurs contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
We need to get this right. It’s a pivotal moment for our generation and for humanity. In Switzerland, we’re ‘winners’ of globalisation – with our wealth, our education and our democracy, we need to be courageous and fully embrace circularity. If not us, then who?
Find out more about how Amanda, Felix and Impact Hub are helping deliver MAVA’s action plan on Advancing a Resource-Efficient and Circular Economy.