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ReLondon announces new support for London’s small businesses at 6th annual Circular Economy Week 

Tuesday 10th October 2023

  • 6th annual Circular Economy Week focuses on how moving to a circular economy can build cities’ resilience against both climate and cost of living crises, while driving green growth
  • To help London’s small and medium-sized businesses become more sustainable and resilient, ReLondon is this week announcing new support in the form of business grants, advisory support and training
  • Made possible by UK government funding of £1.4m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), support will be available to both circular and more traditional (linear) businesses, with a particular focus on diverse founders
  • The first round of support is targeted at small businesses on the high street who want to try out circular approaches for the first time, with a second round of support available for innovative businesses that are helping London transition to a circular food system
  • Circular Economy Week 2023 is hosted by ReLondon in partnership with Visa, and supported by the Mayor of London, and this year features 60+ events including in-person tours of remanufacturing facilities, a series of five global city spotlights, workshops on the reuse of construction materials and a masterclass in measuring organisational impact

London’s 6th annual Circular Economy Week kicks off again on Monday 16th October with an event in County Hall featuring speakers including Ann Pettifor, political economist and author of The Case for the Green New Deal, as well as Sonia Brown, Vice President of Government Engagement at Visa; Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance at DESNZ; and Shirley Rodrigues, London Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy.

Hosted by ReLondon, in partnership with Visa and supported by the Mayor of London, Circular Economy Week coincides this year with ReLondon announcing new business support, including grants and training, for small businesses in London wanting to explore and scale circular business models such as those involving repair services, product rentals and materials reuse. Made possible by UK government funding of £1.4m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), the support is available to a wide community of both circular and more traditional (linear) businesses, with a focus on diverse founders.

The first round of support is aimed at small businesses on the high street who want to test circular business models for the first time, in particular businesses including food and drink establishments, grocers and dry good retailers, as well as hairdressers, dry cleaners and more. Business owners can sign up to a ‘Business beyond waste’ masterclass this autumn to learn how to translate circular principles into viable business opportunities. This will be followed with a round of grant-funding in February 2024: grants of £5k-£10k will be available for around 20 high street businesses to put their circular plans into action, supported at every step by ReLondon’s business transformation team.

Through this support, ReLondon aims to create a blueprint for circular high streets, gathering stories and lessons about how to create more sustainable, resilient neighbourhoods which can then be replicated across London.

The second round of business support will be grant funding to innovative businesses that are helping London transition to a circular food system. Grants of £5k-£15k can be applied for from early October until the deadline of 13th November. London-based circular businesses are encouraged to apply if they have an existing, operational solution that they would like to scale, aimed at reducing food waste; creating value from food waste or by-products; or providing Londoners with access to locally grown, sustainable food.

The announcement comes during ReLondon’s sixth Circular Economy Week, a week-long showcase and celebration of the progress being made by cities, businesses and governments towards a circular economy.

Visa is the headline partner for Circular Economy Week this year, as it is championing the transition to a circular economy by supporting small businesses to leverage circular recommerce business models such as resale, repair, rental, refill, return and redistribution.

Visa’s aim is to encourage people to make more sustainable lifestyle choices by providing education, encouraging action, and imagining new products and services.

We’re delighted to announce this new business support package during Circular Economy Week, as it demonstrates yet again that tackling the climate crisis is a shared responsibility between national and local governments, citizens and business – and this sixth annual Circular Economy Week is a powerful showcase of how circular economy can help navigate the current cost of living crisis, potentially safeguard jobs and communities and deliver against carbon reduction targets by saving materials and energy.

Wayne Hubbard, CEO, ReLondon

We are committed to empowering small businesses including helping them embrace the circular economy, and at scale. We have the network, data and insights to unlock circular commerce opportunities to drive growth, and our partnership with Circular Economy Week is a key part of championing this effort.

Sonia Brown, Vice President of Government Engagement, Visa

Moving towards a circular economy can make a huge difference in building cities’ resilience against the climate and cost of living crises, while driving green growth. This new package of support will help small high street businesses develop more sustainable ways of operating, and reduce food waste. I encourage businesses to get involved in Circular Economy Week and change how they work for the better.

Shirley Rodrigues, London Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy

ReLondon’s launch event on Monday 16th October will look at ways in which circular economy can help deliver jobs, provide community access to sustainable products and services, and help neighbourhoods and high streets become more resilient against both the cost-of-living and climate crises. The event will feature keynotes from Ann Pettifor, political economist, author of The Case for the Green New Deal and Director of  Policy Research in Macroeconomics; Sonia Brown, Vice President of Government Engagement at Visa; Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ); and Shirley Rodrigues, London Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy.

With over 70 events expected to run during the week, highlights announced so far include:

  • 17th October: Circular economy in the workplace: tour of remanufacturing facility and learn how to make it happen, hosted by Crown Workspace
  • 17th October: Meet the entrepreneurs turning waste into value, hosted by Fast Forward 2030
  • 18th October: Reform to reuse: Investing in circular economy to achieve low carbon buildings, hosted by Ramboll
  • 18th October: Reuse Summit, hosted by Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP)
  • 19th October: Philanthropy and the circular economy – why funders need to get involved and how to do it, hosted by The Environmental Funders Network
  • 19th October: Furniture upcycling and repair workshop, hosted by Islington Council

Most events are free to attend and can be signed up for via the Circular Economy Week website.

Notes to editors:

ReLondon is a partnership of the Mayor of London and the London boroughs to improve waste and resource management and transform the city into a leading low carbon circular economy.

ReLondon’s team delivers tailored support to government, businesses and citizens. The organisation works to reduce waste, increase recycling and accelerate London’s transition to a low carbon circular economy by:

  • Empowering London’s boroughs and businesses by exploring, testing and proving transformative innovations with them
  • Advocating for policy or regulatory change
  • Encouraging behaviour change at all levels

ReLondon was established as a statutory Board under the Greater London Authority Act 2007 as the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB)

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Visa is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement.
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The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit

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