This week, a brand new 'circular economy meeting point' opened in maakleerplek. Through this counter, the city of Leuven wants to support entrepreneurs with circular ambitions with free advice. Entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs can go there with all their questions about circular and inclusive entrepreneurship.
Circular entrepreneurship is entrepreneurship in which products and raw materials are reused as much as possible. Companies can integrate this circular philosophy into their operations by creating as little waste as possible, keeping products in use as long as possible or designing them in such a way that they can be reused later on.
The circular counter is part of the Leuven Circular strategy. "The circular transition is an important condition to make Leuven climate neutral. In order to evolve into a fully-fledged circular city, we need to apply circular principles in different areas," explains Alderman for Climate and Sustainability David Dessers. "Leuven already has many civic initiatives that encourage residents to repair as many things as possible instead of throwing them away. In addition, at the beginning of this year we opened the Materials Bank where we sell recovered building materials. These are just a few of the many initiatives that have been launched in recent years to work towards this circular city. This counter for circular and inclusive entrepreneurship, specifically aimed at entrepreneurs, is a good addition to them. We hope that with this office we can put many Leuven entrepreneurs on the road to circular entrepreneurship. After all, circular entrepreneurship is future-oriented, efficient and resilient."
"Among the entrepreneurs, there is a great willingness to help put their shoulders to the climate challenge. They want to think about how they can ensure that materials stay in circulation. Through this counter, they can now find inspiration and help in an accessible way to make those ambitions come true. Because Leuven businesses want to do business in Leuven, and share responsibility for a sustainable city," adds alderman for economics Lalynn Wadera. "In addition, we create economic activity and work together with social economy companies to the extent possible. These companies offer training or work experience to people with a great distance from the regular labor market. In this way, we hope to bring the regular and social economy closer together and combine circular with inclusive entrepreneurship."
With the brand new circular counter, the city wants to support entrepreneurs with circular ambitions, questions or interest in circular economy. "We help entrepreneurs further with all their questions about circular or inclusive entrepreneurship. This ranges from the search for a concrete business model, to the integration of circular principles into the operation of the company. For example, entrepreneurs who have questions about what they can do with their residual flows such as textiles, plastics or wood can come to us. By calling on our network of circular experts, we try to give each entrepreneur tailor-made advice. We also want to be a sounding board to support entrepreneurs in their circular plans," says Geert Vaes, expert in circular entrepreneurship who will man the counter.
The counter is located in maakleerplek (Stapelhuisstraat 13-15, Leuven) and is open every Monday from 9 am to 5 pm. Anyone can drop by then without an appointment. Interested entrepreneurs can also ask their questions by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (0470 90 28 05).