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VUB Chair of Social Entrepreneurship – The Circular Economy Challenge

The Circular Economy focuses on the reuse of materials, where waste is seen as raw material. According to the United Nations, “large social gains can be realized from improving resource circularity in multiple sectors”. The VUB Chair of Social Entrepreneurship, together with its partners, wanted to stimulate the creativity of students, entrepreneurs, and employees to develop innovative solutions for the circular economy. Working together, they can let their passion take shake within several domains of the Circular Economy. In consequence, the Circular Economy Challenge was launched.

The ‘Circular Economy Challenge’ is an initiative of the VUB Chair of Social Entrepreneurship which, together with founding partners BNP Paribas Fortis, Close the Gap and Euroclear, has been supporting social entrepreneurs since 2015. Prof. Dr. Nikolay Dentchev, Chairholder:

“Brussels suffers from a variety of social and environmental problems. Through this Challenge, we want to encourage people to come up with innovative ideas within the circular economy. Our focus areas are (1) big data, (2) energy, (3) electronic waste, (4) mobility and (5) the reuse of materials. We choose for a competition in a team because we want to bring together like-minded people with different expertise and backgrounds.”


The Circular Economy Challenge was aimed at students (at the VUB or other universities or high schools), entrepreneurs, employees, and innovative minds. Participation was free, but teams were committed to the entire competition process. In the end, we summarize the CEC process in several steps. The winning team receives professional guidance (from experts from the network of the three financing partners) to further develop their idea and also be able to use the crowdsourcing and crowdfunding platform of the VUB Chair of Social Entrepreneurship.

Country: Belgium

Year: 2019-2020

Institution: Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Contact person: Philippe Eiselein


# of students: 40

Interaction with beneficiaries: Mixed

Academic Degree: Undergraduate | Master | PhD

Discipline(s): Business | Sociology | Engineering and Technology

Community Service Area & ODS: Partnership for the goals | Sustainable cities and communities | Clear water and sanitation

The Circular Economy Challenge
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