Navigating the role of circular economy in entrepreneurship: Opportunities and challenges

Open for submissions 1 February 2022

Entrepreneurship growth is continuously tied to improving the economy of the country, society, and the people (Schiavone et al., 2020). Entrepreneurship contains enterprising and opportunity for people who could realize business opportunities and are capable enough to respond to them, notwithstanding the existing assets and resources (Tubulingane, 2020). Among a diversity of methods developed for economic development by literature, economists, academics, and scientists, a new concept of the circular economy has appeared to aid industries and businesses in generating dual profits (Jakhar Suresh et al., 2019, Singh Sanjay and Singh Ajai, 2019). The entrepreneurial idea is realized as an essential portion of realizing a company or a firm (Witt, 2007). Consequently, it is a vital component to evaluate why entrepreneurs are involved in start-up development, and in this case, why entrepreneurs work inside the concept of a circular economy.

The circular economy concept has become an increasingly discussed subject within industries and businesses; so far, officeholders still fight to implement circular economy plans (Singh Sanjay and Singh Ajai, 2019, Singhal, Tripathy and Jena Sarat, 2019). According to Zamfir, Mocanu, and Grigorescu (2017), the circular economy practices at the firm level can include waste reduction while keeping the value of resources and products in the system to achieve entrepreneurial sustainability. In recent years, circular entrepreneurs have been highlighted in different industries and organizations but few studies have been conducted to understand why and how these entrepreneurs are generating start-ups inside the circular economy. Meanwhile, the concept of the circular economy is a novel and still emerging arena of study (Zhu, Jia, and Lin, 2019, Makropoulos et al., 2018, Alonso-Almeida et al., 2020); the literature argues that the circular entrepreneur could be an innovative kind of entrepreneur; meanwhile, they might hold diverse viewpoints on critical developments and characteristics typically understood inside founders engaging in start-up development. Consequently, understanding an entrepreneur's motivation to join in the circular economy's plans is significant for efforts towards entrepreneurial development in this alternative economy (Colin David, 2020).

However, in the entrepreneurial area, presently, numerous founders try to generate circular start-ups (Henry et al., 2020), and programs and awards precisely focused on supporting this cluster of circular players are growing; there are presently few studies on this novel type of entrepreneurs. In this special issue, we attempt to generate a better understanding of in what way the transition towards the concept of the circular economy is formed through its entrepreneurial actors, and in what manner the founders engaging in this area vary from their usual entrepreneurial counterparts. The objectives of this special issue include:

  • To deliver an extensive contribution to the literature by presenting discussions for understanding an entrepreneur's motivation to join in the circular economy's plans.
  • To provide the state‐of‐the‐art literature of how entrepreneurs might be generating start-ups inside the circular economy practices.

We welcome high-quality and unpublished papers for this special issue on various issues including, but not limited to:

  • Entrepreneurial drivers for the circular business model development
  • Digital technologies enabled circular entrepreneurship
  • Innovation and creativity for entrepreneurs in the circular economy
  • Institutional entrepreneurship to promote circular economy
  • Ecological and social entrepreneurship in a circular economy
  • Entrepreneurship development, knowledge management, and the circular economy
  • Big data and artificial intelligence in circular entrepreneurship
  • Motivating entrepreneurship with the internet of things for the circular economy
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship using circular business model innovation
  • Supply chain management-based entrepreneurship in a circular economy
  • Entrepreneurship decision-making in a circular economy
  • Optimization and decision-making methods for circular entrepreneurship
  • Blockchain entrepreneurship for a transition to the circular economy


Submission Details

The submission window will open 01 February 2022 and will close 30 November 2022. To submit your research, please visit: To view the Author Guidelines, please visit:



Alonso-Almeida, M.d.M. et al. (2020) 'Institutional entrepreneurship enablers to promote circular economy in the European Union: Impacts on transition towards a more circular economy'. Journal of Cleaner Production,  124841.

Colin David, R. (2020) 'Entrepreneurial Motivation to Participate in the Circular Economy'. In: Neeta, B. (ed.) Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Development and Opportunities in Circular Economy.  Hershey, PA, USA: IGI Global, pp. 271-283.

Henry, M. et al. (2020) 'A typology of circular start-ups: An Analysis of 128 circular business models'. Journal of Cleaner Production, 245 118528.

Jakhar Suresh, K. et al. (2019) 'When stakeholder pressure drives the circular economy: Measuring the mediating role of innovation capabilities'. Management Decision, 57 (4), pp. 904-920.

Makropoulos, C. et al. (2018) 'Sewer-mining: A water reuse option supporting circular economy, public service provision and entrepreneurship'. Journal of Environmental Management, 216 285-298.

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Singh Sanjay, K. and Singh Ajai, P. (2019) 'Interplay of organizational justice, psychological empowerment, organizational citizenship behavior, and job satisfaction in the context of circular economy'. Management Decision, 57 (4), pp. 937-952.

Singhal, D., Tripathy, S. and Jena Sarat, K. (2019) 'Acceptance of remanufactured products in the circular economy: an empirical study in India'. Management Decision, 57 (4), pp. 953-970.

Tubulingane, B.S. (2020) 'Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Management Skills at a Crossroad in the Circular Economy'. Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Development and Opportunities in Circular Economy.   IGI Global, pp. 501-519.

Witt, U. (2007) 'Firms as Realizations of Entrepreneurial Visions'. 44 (7), pp. 1125-1140.

Zamfir, A.-M., Mocanu, C. and Grigorescu, A. (2017) 'Circular Economy and Decision Models among European SMEs'. 9 (9), pp. 1507.

Zhu, Q., Jia, R. and Lin, X. (2019) 'Building sustainable circular agriculture in China: economic viability and entrepreneurship'. Management Decision, 57 (4), pp. 1108-1122.