Circular Economy Entrepreneurs: Promoting circular economy

The Wyss Academy provided seed capital for the "Circular Economy Entrepreneurs (CE2)" platform, which was launched in 2019 and established as a national competence and exchange platform for circular economy and sustainability (Sustainable Switzerland Forum SSF) in 2022. Over time, the platform has evolved, becoming a voice for companies that already practice circular economy principles. At the same time, it also provides guidance and inspiration to companies that are interested in resource use and circular economy practices but may lack connections or expertise in approaching this subject. These companies can benefit from the expertise, knowledge transfer and networking available on the platform.
The SSF focuses on much more than technological aspects. Smart business models, innovative materials and designs are considered to be equally important to the societal transformation processes. Following this vision, the Wyss Academy has provided assistance for the conference organized by NZZ Connect and regular regional labs (2020-2022). These initiatives offering a valuable learning platform for stakeholders from business, science, and politics, covering a range of topics. They promote transdisciplinary and cross-sectoral dialogue and contribute to the the long-term integration of circular economy in the Swiss SME landscape.
From 2023 onwards, the platform operated independently, providing an additional boost to topics of sustainable development and circular economy in the canton of Bern and other Swiss cantons, especially supporting SMEs. Having undergone three years of development, the format has been firmly established, and the event will be held annually. The forum is now an integral part of the Sustainable Switzerland initiative, which supports Switzerland's sustainable development in the form of a dialogue platform. In this framework, key topics are defined annually, from the perspective of different disciplines. Circular economy is one of these disciplines, representing a focal point in addressing sustainability. Overall, the goal of start-up funding was successfully achieved and the GS-1 project is now complete.