Circular Economy

Circular economies are closed economic systems that aim to eliminate waste while utilizing resources appropriately. The system combines reusing, repairing, and recycling, among other tactics, to reduce waste, pollution, and carbon emissions.[1] Waste management, one of the focuses of a circular economy, is a global issue with local impact. In fact, the World Bank reports that, by 2050, rapid urbanization and increasing populations are expected to drive global waste generation up by 70% to 3.4 billion tons.[2] The problem lies not only in how solid waste is managed after use, but how much is generated to start with. Even though high-income countries only represent 16% of the world’s population, they are responsible for generating more than one third (34%) of the total waste.[3] In fact, New York City is the world’s biggest producer of waste, generating 33 million tons per year.[4] It is widely understood that waste management is a vital element for sustainable, healthy, and inclusive communities; unfortunately, it is regularly overlooked as a real problem, particularly in low-income countries. Thus, the fact that social enterprises are working to improve and revitalize circular economies in developing regions is vital to sustainable development.

empowering people. Network aims to identify and support innovative technologies and organizations that work to solve basic circular economy problems around the world. See some of the most promising entrepreneurs, and their enterprises, focused on this sector in the database below.


[1] Circular economy. Wikipedia. Retrieved: May 19, 2021.
[2] Global Waste to Grow by 70 Percent by 2050 Unless Urgent Action is Taken: World Bank Report. The World Bank. Retrieved: January 20, 2021.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Waste Management: Looking at a Global Challenge. Roland Berger. Retrieved: January 20, 2021.