In an initiative designed to both create and safeguard green jobs in London, ReLondon this week announced that they have awarded grant funds of £390,000 to 33 small businesses from across the capital.
The money is for pilots of new and innovative circular products and services, such as jewellery rentals, repairing and leasing electrical items, packaging-free deliveries or making children’s clothes from surplus fabrics and offcuts.
With funding from the Mayor of London’s Green New Deal fund, these small businesses will have the resources to design and pilot new ways of working which will provide environmental as well as economic benefits.
The funding supports the London Recovery Board’s Green New Deal mission led by the Mayor and London Councils, which aims to sustain and create new green jobs whilst tackling the climate emergency and air pollution.
We’re calling on all London-based SMEs to think about how they could be part of the capital’s future economy and join us in our mission to make London a global leader in sustainable ways to live, work and prosper
Priority has been given to funding those hardest hit by the pandemic, such as those in the hospitality, retail and entertainment sectors. Businesses led by individuals from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have also been prioritised, and are represented by 42% of those SMEs receiving funding, as well as those led by women with 70% of those funded having female leadership.
By tapping into the circular economy, businesses can open up new revenue streams or reduce costs, paving the way for future business growth with reduced waste and a better environmental impact.
The pilots will take place with support from ReLondon’s expert advisors between September 2021 and January 2022. ReLondon will also support a further 50 SMEs over the next year with free, bespoke business and circular economy advice to ‘build back better’ by using circular strategies to minimise costs, optimise resource use and explore new revenue models.
Wayne Hubbard, CEO of ReLondon, said: “We are committed to supporting London’s green recovery from the pandemic, and are delighted to be delivering this support on behalf of the Mayor of London’s Green New Deal fund.
“SMEs are vital both to deliver the recovery our economy needs, and to develop new solutions to tackle the climate emergency. We’re calling on all London-based SMEs to think about how they could be part of the capital’s future economy and join us in our mission to make London a global leader in sustainable ways to live, work and prosper.”
Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, said: “We are proud to support London’s small and medium-sized businesses through the Mayor’s Green New Deal fund. To achieve our aim to double London’s green economy, we must empower forward-thinking, innovative firms to develop new, sustainable business models which create green jobs.”
ReLondon says the Mayor’s Green New Deal fund is directly targeting support to Londoners who have been ‘disproportionately affected by the pandemic’, including cleantech businesses that encourage greater diversity in the sector, particularly female and black, Asian and minority ethnic-led enterprises, it says.
“We must rebuild our city post-COVID so that it’s cleaner, greener and fairer,” Ms Rodrigues said.
ReLondon’s research with 300 senior decision makers in SMEs and local authorities across England earlier this year found that 74% of all respondents would like their own organisations to make more use of the circular economy.