Business Innovation Workshop at Circl

How do you make your business future-proof? The bank recently set out to help business owners find ways to integrate circularity into their operational processes with the Business Innovation Workshop, focusing on applying circular strategies and identifying options to finance their sustainable ambitions.


For two days, the entrepreneurs participating in the workshop were challenged to think about their businesses in the context of the circular economy. Held at the Circl circular pavilion, the Business Innovation Workshop encouraged them to consider the impact of all their operational processes and to brainstorm about possible alternatives. The business owners also received guidance in working out a tailored business plan for the future.


It's simple, really… If every business in the world just kept doing what it's doing, it wouldn't be long before we'd need a few extra planets. Consumers and companies alike are overexploiting the earth and its limited resources. By adopting circular strategies, and by not consuming but re-using valuable raw materials, we'll not only reduce the shortage of those materials, but also cut carbon emissions.

So how do you, as a business owner, approach such a massive challenge? What steps should you take to adapt your business model to the circular economy? The Business Innovation Workshop was the perfect opportunity to work with business owners to sketch out a new business model and discuss financing options.


During two two-day sessions, nineteen business owners teamed up with their respective ABN AMRO account managers to work with experts from Circle Economy, a social enterprise committed to accelerating the transition to the circular economy.

Hailing from multiple sectors, the participants included the owner of Van der Hoorn Orchideeën, an orchid grower, who was looking for alternatives to plastic in his supply chain. The construction industry was represented by Dura Vermeer, the healthcare sector by the Amsterdam-based hospital OLVG.

During the workshop, business owners also helped one another come up with circular, innovative ideas. At the end of the two days, all participants left with their very own step-by-step plan. ABN AMRO and Circle Economy will be bringing the participants together again in three months' time to share their insights, lessons learned and success stories. 

The aim is to keep holding meetings in the future so that none of the knowledge acquired will be lost.


The sessions took place in January and February. ABN AMRO is committed to getting at least 100 clients to participate in the workshop by June 2019.