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Photograph of a cloudless day at the financial district of London, including The Gherkin, Fenchurch building and Leadenhall building

Boost for circular, low-carbon SMEs announced as London Climate Action Week highlights scale of challenge

19 November 2020

  • The Mayor of London has today announced £900k of funding for circular businesses in the capital as part of his commitment to a green recovery
  • Circular SMEs targeted as drivers of new, low-carbon consumption behaviours required to meet climate change challenge
  • The funding will be managed by the London Waste and Recycling Board’s SME business support programme, Advance London

The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) has secured £900,000 of funding from the Mayor of London’s Green New Deal announced today, to deliver support to London-based small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) that are helping to make London a low-carbon circular city.

In these difficult times for many businesses, the Mayor of London has demonstrated his commitment to a green recovery by allocating a proportion of the Green New Deal funds to London’s circular business ecosystem. Eligible businesses will benefit in a number of ways:

  • Small grants will be made available to support the efforts of circular SMEs to deliver a green recovery;
  • LWARB’s team of experts will provide free help and advice to help circular businesses pivot and innovate during the pandemic; and
  • A virtual match-making platform and directory of circular economy products and services will be created to provide better access for Londoners to the capital’s thriving green sector.

Support will be awarded against a wide range of criteria, both to small businesses with growth potential already operating a circular business model and to those wishing to pivot to new circular economy business operations. SMEs can submit expressions of interest now at:

The funding will aim to safeguard around 300 jobs and create up to 50 new ones by providing grants and support to 50 businesses. The pandemic has triggered a crisis for many businesses, and 59% of circular businesses surveyed by the Advance London programme between April and June this year reported that they were not able to access any COVID-19 central government funding, as many early stage businesses do not qualify for access to those schemes.

Wayne Hubbard, CEO of LWARB, says:

This is exciting news as the funding will help London’s thriving low carbon circular sector to keep innovating. Here at LWARB we have an expert business support team, perfectly placed to deliver tailored support to accelerate the circular economy in the capital, and we’re delighted that the Mayor has recognised this. It’s more proof if it was needed that London is one of the best places in the world to be a ‘green’ business.

The Advance London programme’s current portfolio of businesses has a high proportion of female-owned or co-owned businesses with 48% of those in African, Asian, Caribbean, Black British and other ownership. A further 22% of businesses supported by the programme are in the five London boroughs with the highest deprivation levels. The funding aims to incentivise the wider London business community to pilot and launch circular economy products and operating models, contributing to the green recovery and London becoming a leading low-carbon circular city.ENDS –

For more information, contact Ali Moore at LWARB on 07732 681821.

About London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB):

  • The London Waste and Recycling Board is a partnership of the Mayor of London and the London boroughs to improve waste and resource management.
  • The city’s economic and environmental future depends on a transition to a low-carbon circular economy, and LWARB works to ensure that London’s businesses, local government and communities thrive by helping them make the very best use of resources and materials.
  • Visit:

About Advance London:

  • The Advance London programme is delivered by LWARB and co-funded by ERDF. It has supported more than 200 SMEs to transition to circular business models and/or scale their existing circular economy ventures, creating a strong circular business ecosystem with a combined turnover of £50 million and supporting more than 800 jobs.
  • The programme has the network, processes and mechanisms in place to deploy ‘green’ grants where they will make a meaningful contribution to businesses and help with creation and retention of jobs.
  • Visit: for more info, or to express interest in receiving support through the scheme.

About circular economy and circular business models:

  • The circular economy is one which keeps products, components and materials at their highest use and value at all times and for as long as possible.
  • Circular businesses are those who aim to make efficient use of the planet’s dwindling resources, by designing out waste, providing products as services, enabling the sharing economy and ensuring that products are able to be repaired, disassembled, recycled or used for as long as possible.

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