Introducing the new "Circular Economy Catalyst"


adelphi and the IKEA Foundation, in collaboration with SEED, are working together to unlock the potential of circular economy entrepreneurship to design sustainable businesses and partnerships that foster inclusive and regenerative economies in India and Kenya.

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are an important part of the private sector in both India and Kenya, providing employment to approximately 7.5 million people in Kenya and over 110 million people in India. Many enterprises, however, experience financial, skills and market challenges to starting and growing sustainable businesses. This limits their ability to generate income, create jobs for women and young people, and address environmental issues in their community.

“Through our work in adelphi’s Green Entrepreneurship programme, we have seen exciting businesses in the circular economy that address environmental issues and provide decent jobs in their community, yet many face challenges to grow their business and impacts. By combining capacity building support with financial support along their growth journeys, we can unlock their potential to deliver impact at scale” says Camilla Shearman, Manager at adelphi and Project Lead.

Supporting entrepreneurs to build and grow profitable businesses in the circular economy can catalyse the transition to green, circular and inclusive economies. The Circular Economy Catalyst will work with partners — such as business advisors and financers — to support over 220 entrepreneurs in the circular economy in India and Kenya to create profitable circular economy business models that generate income, positive environmental impacts and more than 8,700 jobs.

“Through our grantmaking, we work with our partners to help people and communities with the fewest resources build sustainable livelihoods and support their families. The IKEA Foundation is supporting adelphi’s Circular Economy Catalyst because we believe it will help entrepreneurs transform their ideas into businesses that provide a decent income for people in their communities while protecting the planet”, states IKEA Foundation.

The project will build on the success of adelphi and the SEED project, which has seen 88% of enterprises receiving comprehensive support between 2005-2018 remain in business, generating an average of over 28 direct jobs, 80 distribution jobs and 130 jobs within their suppliers.


About the IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation is an independent philanthropy focused on creating brighter lives on a liveable planet through its grant giving efforts. It is funded by INGKA Foundation, owner of Ingka Group. Learn more at

About adelphi

adelphi is the leading independent think-and-do tank in Europe for climate, environment and development. Our work is grounded in transdisciplinary research, evidence-based consulting and stakeholder dialogues. With these tools we shape policy agendas, facilitate political communication, inform policy processes and support decision-makers. Learn more at .