Only have 1 minute? Read our 3 takeaways:
- Innovative Greek businesses with circular economy solutions have a new financing opportunity with the launch of the SPOROS Platform, a trailblazing €30.5 million impact fund.
- The new pool of capital is managed by SPOROS Impact Ventures, an alternative investment management company based in Athens, with the backing of the Hellenic Development Bank of Investments SA and a diverse roster of 10 private investors from Greece and Europe.
- The fund targets businesses that promote resource efficiency, extend products’ life-cycles, and minimize waste.
In deploying what it calls a “smart specialization strategy,” SPOROS aims to channel investments into sectors with considerable scope for environmental betterment and strong export potential. The fund’s initial focus areas include clean energy and logistics, blue growth and sustainable tourism, bio-economy and agri-food, industrial cooperation and remanufacturing, and plastics-chemicals and e-waste management. These sectors can act as catalysts for broader industrial shifts toward circular economy principles.
How will the fund assist Greek businesses?
Greek businesses committed to sustainability will benefit not only from capital injections and a range of financial instruments, but also from specialized consultancy and a comprehensive ESG/SDG approach to amplify and quantify their positive impact.
George Kofinakos, Chairman of the SPOROS Investment Committee, elaborated on the fund’s strategy to blend positive societal impact with robust financial returns. By establishing strong and inspiring circular success stories, SPOROS aims to lay the groundwork for enduring, sustainable growth.
“Our collaboration with HDBI amplifies our impact, contributing to a more sustainable, responsible, and Greek entrepreneurial landscape,” said Kofinakos.
SPOROS is already in the final stages of making its inaugural investments in circular re-use of second-hand smartphones and sustainable agri-food linked with green energy production.
Greece is making strides in the circular economy
The concept of a circular economy has rapidly gained traction globally as an antidote to the traditional linear economic model. Instead of products reaching the end of their life and turning into waste, the circular economy aims to design waste out of the system. In doing so, this approach not only saves resources and costs, but offers lucrative opportunities for innovation and job creation.
For Greece, which has had its fair share of challenges, the circular economy represents a path toward sustainable development that is both economically viable and environmentally responsible.
Greek startups are increasingly taking note of this paradigm shift, contributing solutions in areas such as recycling and recovery (Contec), upcycling (Coffe-eco), fashion (Swaplanet), and shared mobility (Instacar; Greyp Bikes, exited to Porsche), placing Greece on the map as a hub for circular economy innovation.
The rise of funds like the SPOROS Platform Fund signals a maturing of this sector, providing much-needed financial backing and mentorship to startups that can make a circular economy a reality.
Elsewhere, circular economy startups in the region can also tap into the following funds:
- InvestCEC by Horizon Europe, a programme tailored to supporting the transition towards circular economy in European cities and regions, running through 2025;
- The circular economy sub-programme of the LIFE programme, the EU’s funding for the environment and climate action, running until 2027;
- CircularInvest, a Project Development Assistance project funded by the European Union to assist the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI) and facilitate the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan.