News | CIC | Empowering Circular Startups: Policy Support for Job Creation and a Sustainable Economy in Future-Focused Cities

Empowering Circular Startups: Policy Support for Job Creation and a Sustainable Economy in Future-Focused Cities

New publication for the Circular Innovation Collective (CIC) – Circular cities are considered a vital component of the sustainability transformations needed to secure the future of our planet. Cities are responsible for 70% of the world’s material use and consumption and as the global population grows and cities expand, their impacts become even greater. The transition to circularity is not only essential from an environmental perspective, it also presents significant opportunities for economic growth and diverse job creation. Circular startups will play a crucial role in expediting this transition, but they need targeted support to overcome common obstacles and fulfil their vast potential.

Driving circularity in Europe

European cities are currently leading the way in their ambitions to become fully circular by 2050, with the city of Amsterdam a frontrunner.

The city’s Circularity Agenda 2025 and Implementation Agenda sets out its aim of achieving full circularity by 2050. Its plans outline a significant boost to the local economy, creating an additional 3,000 full-time circular jobs by 2025; and adding 8,500 and 19,500 more by 2030 and 2050 respectively. This will have a knock-on effect on the rental and business services sector, creating a further 11,800 jobs by 2050.

Despite the city’s notable aspirations, currently only 6.5% of Amsterdam’s employment is considered circular. This gap underscores the urgent need for action if the city is to achieve its goals and support a full and timely transition to circularity.

The Circular Innovation Collective (CIC), a consortium of impact-driven organisations initiated by Metabolic, Impact Hub Amsterdam, and Bankers without Boundaries, aims to help European cities and regions realise their circularity ambitions. At CIC, we recognise the pivotal role circular startups will play in driving this transition and the significant opportunity they have to stimulate job creation. Along with creating new jobs, circular startups challenge traditional business models with innovative solutions that offer a glimpse into the diverse potential paths towards circularity. However, their potential is often hindered by a range of challenges and obstacles that prevent them from scaling up.

About the article

This article draws on our experience from our CIC Venture Support Program in Amsterdam, providing insights and actionable advice for policy makers in cities and regions looking to catalyse their own circular transitions.

We first outline the pivotal role these young ventures play in the transition, before identifying the current circular trends shaping local economies. We then explore the spectrum of circular business models and the types of jobs they can provide; before exploring the common challenges circular startups face along with recommendations on concrete actions that municipalities, policy makers and other stakeholders can take to enable these ventures to scale up, create more jobs, and expedite the transition to circular economies.