Closing the Circular Economy Loop: Online Summit for Zero-Waste Businesses

The biggest global online summit for zero-waste businesses took place on November 20 and 21, 2018, online. The Ground_Up project powered the Impact Virtual Summit entitled “Zero-Waste: Build a Profitable Business” in partnership with the Swiss Economic Forum, Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (Singapore), Transformational Business Network (Kenya) and Eqlosion (Switzerland).

In a context where resource availability is at risk and waste and pollution have reached sky highs, the circular economy is an opportunity to ensure a clean and sustainable future by closing the production and waste disposal loops. Speakers at the summit shared pioneering zero-waste business models, they announced investment vehicles and discussed concrete approaches to selecting circular economy zero-waste investments. Participants also got a unique chance to pitch to world-changing impact investors, and network with partners and investors ready to invest in their ventures.

After creating several platforms that enabled financial institutions to work with business and public institutions in developing countries in order to design sustainable finance vehicles under the umbrella of the G20, Brindusa Burrows, Founder and CEO of The Ground_Up Project, believes there is a huge opportunity in making sustainability concrete and actionable to entrepreneurs worldwide.

“The circular economy, much like many of the sustainability goals, remains too often in the high spheres of beautiful ideals. It’s time we brought the zero-waste concept down to earth, demystify it to see exactly what this means for day-to-day entrepreneurs and for capital providers. We wanted every summit participant to leave thinking: I know what I will do tomorrow with what I learned today. Only by empowering entrepreneurs will we be able to build the circular economy we aspire to.” — Brindusa Burrows

At the Impact Virtual Summit, entrepreneurs and investors from Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and North America got together to find clear opportunities. Participants learned about how to build profitable zero-waste business models, how to bring technologies and innovations to the market, what investors are looking for in the field of the circular economy and other practical, business-orientated insights. Hands-on business labs helped entrepreneurs with day-to-day challenges: marketing on a low-budget, financials for fundraising and evaluating impact. There were also two private pitching sessions, for investors and advisors only, focused on circular enterprises fundraising up to 10M USD.

The IVS itself was a zero-waste event. Virtual, the event was environmentally friendly, saving approximately 750 tons of CO2, 170 trees, 500kg of food, let alone plastic badges and flowers for decoration.

The Ground_Up Project team is brought together by the desire to have meaningful jobs that make the world a better place to live in, and the strong belief that entrepreneurs play the key part in achieving that goal.

It’s not to late to join us online. Registration for post-event access and more information are available at