Start-ups within entrepreneurial ecosystems: Transition towards a circular economy

Magnus Klofsten, Wisdom Kanda, Dzamila Bienkowska, Nancy Bocken, Sarfraz Mian, Wadid Lamine

This article explores the role of start-ups within entrepreneurial ecosystems in driving the transition towards a circular economy. It emphasises the importance of understanding and supporting circular start-ups for broader sustainability impacts. Unlike established firms, start-ups can readily adopt ambitious circular business models (CBMs) without the risk of business model cannibalisation and with the agility to adapt to market trends. CBMs enhance value creation, delivery and capture resource flows in an optimised non-linear fashion.

Scaling up CBMs is crucial for overall economic, social and environmental benefits. Hence, leveraging the key entrepreneurial ecosystems actors, such as universities, business incubators and related venture development intermediaries, is vital for start-up support. In this special issue, we have invited researchers to submit contributions that delve into the dynamics among start-ups, entrepreneurial ecosystems and the circular economy, aiming to enrich our understanding of the early stage start-up development process with the aim of promoting the circular economy at a firm, regional or national level.

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