10 Step Guide to Creating a Financeable Circular Business

Want to take the next steps in creating a successful circular business to attract financiers? Follow our 10 step guide 
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case study

The circular economy is here to stay! Governments, companies and consumers are recognising, more and more the economic advantages of circular strategies, in addition to their environmental benefits. New end-of-life solutions, chain collaboration and circular design principles are becoming inherently part of future-proof, business models.

However, when deciding on which circular strategies to implement the financeability of a business is also affected.  For example, product-service combinations are seen as a promising, future earning model, but they currently encounter considerable funding challenges. Challenges such as, securing stable cash flows, reducing risks and matching investments with payback periods, are important to address. Additionally, evolving business strategies including, changing value propositions and chain collaborations should be topics on the agenda. Enabling the transition towards these new business models is key to successfully implementing circular business strategies and future proofing our economy.

In order to better understand how these challenges could be addressed, Nederland Circulair! partners, Circle Economy and The Sustainable Finance Lab, worked with circular business managers and financiers to identify ways to fund circular business strategies, a key element they desperately need to achieve.

The result is our, latest publication: 10 Steps to Creating a Financeable Circular BusinessThe guide will empower businesses to secure funding for their circular ambitions and initiate strategic decision making with the help of 10 practical steps.

10 Steps to Financeability:

  1. Decide on a logical starting point
  2. Generate profit through multiple use cycles
  3. Align incentives throughout the supply chain
  4. Be transparent about the value proposition
  5. Redefine the role of retail
  6. Gradually transition to PSS by combining revenue models
  7. Secure stable cash flows through a robust contract
  8. Mitigate debtor risk
  9. Match asset value, payback period and contract duration
  10. Measure environmental impact on financial performance

This 10-step framework is the first step to bridging the gap between what financiers need in order to invest and the strategic decisions circular businesses have to make. It’s not only about having a great new idea, it has to be embedded in a sound business model. This paper shows what it takes to increase financeability for businesses in the circular economy.

– Aglaia Fischer, Project Manager / Researcher at Circle Economy and Sustainable Finance Lab

The 10 steps are illustrated with  detailed case studies, making the various circular strategies and their corresponding financial challenges tangible while also providing a practical guide on how to overcome them. Take the 10 steps to creating a financeable circular business today!

Download the 10 Steps


Just starting your business’ journey to circularity? Read the first publication in our three step series: Master Circular Business with the Value Hill.

About the Circle Finance Programme

Our mission is to realign the current financial system with the real economy by identifying financial barriers to circular business practices and developing solutions to overcome them. Over the last few decades the financial economy has taken on a life of its own. Money has become disconnected to the real world and this realisation has been manifested through an accumulation of capital, rapid growth of inequality, leakage of money into the virtual economy, and reliance on international markets. Contradicting core elements of the circular economy, our current financial cycles need to be restored. Having the ability to alter human behaviour, and human activity, money and the way we manage it can be a major catalyst in the transition towards a circular society.

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