Stimulating circular business

Car dashboards made from tomato skins, endlessly reusable workwear and soup made from scrap vegetables. There are already various examples of circular entrepreneurship in the Netherlands; and we are the ideal country to make circular business into a great success.

Rabobank is convinced that reliable and circular enterprises are better prepared for changes in their environment. They have more eye for a potential scarcity of certain (organic) resources and materials, and are quicker to recognise the emergence of new needs and markets. As a result, these businesses are more resilient, more innovative and less vulnerable. Their sustainable business models make them the market leaders of the future. Rabobank would be pleased to have these businesses in their customer portfolio. In addition, circular enterprises produce less waste, have a lesser need for raw materials and energy and have lower carbon emissions.

Getting started with circular business

We want to help entrepreneurs in their circular business, creating a cycle of products and materials that provides value for as long as possible. This requires a balanced production process, the right choice of materials and product design that takes into account how the components can ultimately be replaced or re-used. Partners who see opportunities in recycling or re-using materials are also necessary, and consumer or customer willingness also has an important role to play. This all means that entrepreneurs develop a new way of thinking and working together: they have to look beyond the boundaries of their own businesses and collaborate with other members of the supply chain. We support entrepreneurs in various ways:

  1. Research into the needs for financing and financing risks of circular business models, always maintaining an active dialogue with our customers. Together with Radboud University, we developed the Circular Enterprise Performance Indicator. The indicator helps entrepreneurs estimate their CE performance in five focus areas, including Measures for improvement and funding opportunities.
  2. Providing funding for circular business activities. We always consider the following aspects:
    (1) Is the quality of the enterprise sufficient?
    (2) Does the model focus on closing cycles and retaining value?
    (3) Does it answer a demonstrable demand from the market and does it have a clear earnings model?
    (4) Is it part of the organisation's long-term strategy?
    (5) Is there sufficient supply of reusable (bio) raw materials?
    (6) Does it contribute to a future-proof world?
    Where this cannot (only) be achieved through financial products and services, we act as a financial coordinator for our customers, seeking a combination of financial partners that can provide a fitting funding package. Such as private equity, angel investors/venture capital and crowd funding.
  3. Development of new financial products. For example: the Impact Loan for sustainable pioneers and the Impact Loan for Healthcare and Education.
  4. Participating in various working groups (including FincanCE) and sharing knowledge with our customers through round table sessions, individual business advice and programmes such as the regional Circular Business Challenge.
  5. Stimulating the development of circular production by focusing on re-using and purchasing circular products in the context of our own procurement policy, facility operations, energy supply, mobility and properties.

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