The project RE-START – Reinforcing the circular economy model for START-ups, was successfully completed, with DAISSy-HOU as a Greek partner

logo-restartAfter two years of demanding and high quality implementation, the European project «RE-START – Reinforcing the circular economy model for START-ups» was successfully completed, with the DAISSy Research Group of the Hellenic Open University (HOU), as a Greek partner. The success of the project, in terms of achieving the objectives and indicators set, led to its recognition as good practice by the European programme ERASMUS+, being its funding source, receiving a score of 87/100.

In particular, the RE-START project encouraged and guided students as well as recent graduates of Higher Education Institutions, individuals with circular business ideas and potential start-uppers, to develop a circular start-up, or to transform their business idea into a circular one. In this context, the definition of circular start-ups was applied, which characterizes them as business models, based on the adoption of at least one of the Circular Economy strategies: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover and Regenerate.

Pivotal to the launch of the project was the development of the RE-START Circular Business Plan Toolkit, a digital platform that includes multiple interactive business support tools. Specifically, it provides a self-assessment tool for circular business ideas, which evaluates the potential of an idea and its alignment with circular economy principles, while it suggests areas for improvement. It also provides an interactive Business Model Canvas, as well as a repository of pitch deck templates for presenting a business idea to potential investors, and also case studies of successful circular enterprises from the five (5) European partner countries (Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Poland).

Next, the consortium developed the RE-START training programme, based on a detailed survey to identify training needs and gaps in existing training programmes, including desk research and focus group meetings in all partner countries with academics, trainers, entrepreneurs, representatives of business support organisations, etc. In particular, the RE-START training programme consists of seven (7) modules, covering “Introduction to the circular economy”, “Circularity and entrepreneurship”, “The regenerative business model”, “Innovation and circular startups”, “Marketing & commercialization of a circular startup”, “Green Partnerships” and “Funding opportunities for a circular startup”.

It is noteworthy that the training programme was made available and remains as such and  free of charge, through the RE-START e-learning platform in the form of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), offered in all the languages of the consortium (Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish) and in English. The pilot implementation of the training programme was carried out through scheduled, online, three-day training workshops in all partner countries, with more than one hundred and seventy (170) participants, who were able to continue the training at their own pace, in an asynchronous manner.

After the successful completion of the RE-START training programme, the participants had the opportunity to take part in the Circular Business Plan Competition. It was the last activity of the project, where thirteen (13) business ideas, represented by teams or individuals, were hosted and presented to a jury composed of experts in the field of entrepreneurship and circular economy.  Six business ideas were awarded, receiving financial prizes, business mentoring and training.

An additional RE-START deliverable is the Guidebook for Trainers and Academics which contains practical instructions to guide them in the delivery, monitoring, and review of distance learning for their students, through the already developed MOOC e-learning platform. The Guidebook contains practical assignments using the Circular Business Plan Toolkit and is available in all the consortium languages (Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish) and in English.

RE-START is a two-year project (01/01/2022- 31/12/2023) co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (Action KA2-Cooperation Partnerships in Higher Education) and implemented by a consortium of six (6) partners, namely: GrantXpert Consulting Limited– Coordinator (Cyprus), Hellenic Open University (Greece), Danmar Computers Sp Zo.o. (Poland), Fundación Empresa Universidad de Alicante de la Comunidad Valenciana-FUNDEUN (Spain), Universidade da Beira Interior (Portugal), Innovation Hive (Greece).

On behalf of the Hellenic Open University, the RE-START project was coordinated by Achilles Kameas, Professor at the HOU and Director of the DAISSy Research Group, with Mr. Konstantinos Potsis as the Project Manager. The working group included the researchers Anastasios Papadopoulos and Akrivouli Zoi.  It is noteworthy, that DAISSy-HOU was responsible for the implementation of all project activities in Greece and participated in all intellectual products and deliverables, while it was responsible for the development of the Circular Business Plan Toolkit.

DAISSy-HOU wishes to congratulate and thank all those who actively contributed to the successful implementation of the project.

For more information about the RE-START project and other activities of DAISSy-HOU:

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