Connecting SMEs for a green economy

New publication on Circular Economy Business Models Implemented by SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises are increasingly aware of the benefits of closing loops and improving resource efficiency, such as saving material costs, creating competitive advantages, and accessing new markets. At the same time, however, various barriers challenge small businesses in their transition to a circular economy, namely a lack of financial resources and a lack of technical skills.

A new paper authored by GreenEcoNet team members is published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1212.

The paper aims to increase understanding about the barriers and enablers experienced by SMEs when implementing circular economy business models. The authors recommend that European and national policies strengthen their focus on greening consumer preferences, market value chains and company cultures, and support the recognition of SMEs’ green business models. This can be achieved through the creation of dedicated market places and communities of practice, for example.

11 researchers from the GreenEcoNet team were involved in this study. CEPS Research Fellow Vasileios Rizos conceptualised this paper and designed the research plan. The preliminary results of this study were presented by Vasileios in Davos during the World Resources Forum 2015:

The cost of the open access publication is covered by the European Commission FP7 post-grant publishing funds. The paper can be downloaded free of charge here:

Authors: Vasileios Rizos, Arno Behrens, Wytze van der Gaast, Erwin Hofman, Anastasia Ioannou, Terri Kafyeke, Alexandros Flamos, Roberto Rinaldi, Sotiris Papadelis, Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers and Corrado Topi