New Course Launch! CirculaRise Expert Training in Just Transition for a Circular Economy.

Our Ongoing Solutions



The CirculaRise Program aims to support enhanced social business through adoption and implementation of strategies that promote the integration of circular economy, digitalization and gender inclusion strategies in their business operations. The program is implemented through 2 different approaches/components with strategic partners targeting different sectors and beneficiaries.

  • Component 1: CirculaRise Accelerator
  • Component 2: CirculaRise Academy


On behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), Yunus Environment Hub implements “SINA – Soziale Innovationen für Nachhaltigkeit“ (English: Social Innovations for Sustainability), an initiative which focuses on social innovations for ecological progress. Innovations in environmental and climate protection are among the most important drivers of growth and employment and have great potential in successfully mastering the transformation to a sustainable and future-fit society.
Within three years the SINA program aims to determine the ecological, social and economic potential of social innovations to achieve Germany’s climate, environmental and sustainability goals.

BIA for Mountains & Islands

The “Business Incubator and Accelerator (BIA) for Mountains and Islands”, is a grant programme implemented on behalf of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat (MPS) at the Food and Agriculture Organization. The program aims at increasing mountain and island communities’ resilience by supporting innovative entrepreneurship in agricultural and textile value chains through the provision of grants, technical assistance and capacity development; specifically in the following countries; Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Fiji, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines and Uganda.

Smart Cities Innovation Program (SCIP)

Smart Cities Innovation Program (SCIP): Specialization of Innovation Support Organizations (ISOs) is an initiative led by Make-IT Africa and implemented by Yunus Environment Hub. The primary objective is to position these selected ISOs as the go-to entities for Smart Cities innovation start-ups by providing specialized support, strengthening their internal capacities, providing access to global networks and ecosystems as well as tools to strengthen the support offered to startups.

Circular Ecosystem Innovation Evaluation in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, a city undergoing rapid growth and urbanization, is facing a critical waste management crisis affecting both our environment and society. The surge in population and shifting consumption habits have led to an unprecedented increase in waste generation, putting immense pressure on the already insufficient waste management infrastructure. In collaboration with EIT Climate-KIC, we will conduct a baseline evaluation to map out Bengaluru's waste management ecosystem. We will identify key stakeholders like Start-Ups, Waste Workers, Government Officials, and Upcyclers to collectively characterize the circularity of an Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) System.


ValuCred is a consortium led by Yunus Environment Hub, Nehlsen AG and Rodiek, and BlackForest Solutions, for the design and financing of sustainable plastic waste management systems.  

The ValuCred project is one of the first promoted by PREVENT Waste Alliance with funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Röchling Stiftung for the development of an international Standard Process Model (SPM) that aligns and connects interdependent stakeholders in the ‘Plastic Credits’ market. 

Bringing radical transparency into the generation and valorization of Plastic Credits, ValuCred empowers informal waste workers in low-income countries whilst striving for zero plastic leakage into the environment.  

GrowUp Incubator

GrowUp supports early-stage entrepreneurs in East Africa who have proven their business concept and want to scale up their social businesses to become self-sustainable. During 6 months, the incubatees receive tailored mentorship based on their needs, interactive capacity building workshops and networking opportunities with international and local partners and peer-to-peer support.


StartNow is a self-learning platform where aspiring entrepreneurs interact and build their business plan within 8 weeks. With a combination of online-offline experiences, the entrepreneurs are able to advance the creation and testing of their business plans as well as discover tools to track their progress after finalizing the self-learning experience. The process is accompanied by weekly mentoring sessions to provide constant feedback.

During a 3-year program supported by DPCL and Yunus & You - The YY Foundation, Yunus Environment Hub will address environmental degradation and youth unemployment in East Africa.

Amazonas Verde

The Amazon Rainforest is not only home to a variety of endangered animal and plant species, but constitutes one of the world’s most important regions for our global climate. Yunus Environment Hub thus engages in the preservation of the Amazon Rainforest and indigenous culture through social business support programs to enhance sustainable entrepreneurship and income opportunities among local communities. We believe that indigenous and local communities play an important role in protecting and strengthening the biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest.

Zero Plastic Waste Cities

Targeting the issue of global plastic waste leakage, Yunus Environment Hub has developed a modular social business approach. Through the development of local social businesses, municipal waste management systems in developing countries highly affected by plastic waste leakage are strengthened. Run by teams of local entrepreneurs and staff, all social businesses founded during the course of the program increase the amount of locally collected and recycled plastic waste while providing income opportunities to informal waste pickers and improving local livelihoods.

Our Implemented Solutions


Build Back Better

Together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Yunus Environment Hub has launched the Build Back Better Social Business Program to support 25 social businesses in Kenya to harness the advantages of the circular economy for a sustainable and resilient recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program promotes the transformation to a more economically sustainable business growth that prioritizes social and environmental sustainability and long-term employment opportunities. The 16-months program involves implementing individualized business solutions based on entrepreneur’s needs, societal and current global environmental challenges.

SHE STARS – See Her Empowered

Absa Bank Kenya in collaboration with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) Programme supported by Yunus Environment Hub (YEH) have launched a project dubbed “SHE STARS – See Her Empowered” program to support women-owned businesses impacted by the Covid-19 economic situation and increased climate risks.
Over the course of 18 months, Yunus Environment Hub (YEH) supports 1,500 women-led micro, small and medium enterprises to build more resilient, sustainable, and competitive businesses in response to disrupted livelihoods, climate change, biodiversity loss and a resource depleting economy.

UNEP Study on Informal Waste Sector

In the global south, the collection and recovery of plastic waste depend almost entirely on the informal sector. Despite their integral contribution, informal waste collectors are amongst society’s most marginalized groups working under harmful health conditions and lacking access to sustainable sources of income and essential social services. 

Yunus Environment Hub published a report conducted on behalf of UNEP, “A qualitative study on risks and opportunities of plastic credit financing instruments being introduced into the informal waste management sector”. In the research process we engaged over 40 experts and stakeholders along the waste management value chain to ensure a broad range of feedback and insights were taken into consideration in the report with the aim to share unbiased information. The report offers recommendations for policy makers and practitioners on this important topic.

Marine Litter Funding Programme - ZUG

Marine litter is one of the world's greatest environmental challenges. Plastic waste in particular causes considerable damage to the environment. The “Marine Debris Framework - Regional hubs around the globe“ (Marine:DeFRAG) grant programme implemented by the Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV), supports projects that actively contribute to preventing the discharge of waste into the oceans. Yunus Environment Hub has been commissioned to conduct an integrative literature review to evaluate the grant guideline against marine litter.

The project aims to explore the scientific literature on selected hypotheses regarding the impact chains of the programme and subsequently make concrete recommendations for action for optimising the programme to achieve its objectives. In addition, the results of the analysis can be used as advice for the BMUV in their collaboration for other programmes.

Improved Service Delivery to Citizens in Cambodia (ISD)

Yunus Environment Hub will provide support to the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in the "Improved Service Delivery to Citizens in Cambodia (ISD)" project, specifically focusing on the waste management component. This support will be delivered through a series of workshops encompassing five sub-topics, targeting local decision-makers, experts, and various stakeholders from the Districts and Municipalities (DMs) in selected partner provinces in Cambodia. The objective of these workshops is to aid in formulating and drafting waste management plans (WMPs) while also incorporating international expertise from European and German sources into developing a template and a comprehensive manual.

Extended Producer Responsibility

Yunus Environment Hub is co-chairing PREVENT Waste Alliance’ working group on closing loops for packaging & EPR. PREVENT Waste Alliance was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to contribute to minimising waste, eliminating pollutants and maximising the reuse of resources in the economy worldwide. The first working group result is an EPR toolbox that enables policy makers and local waste management stakeholders in low- and middle-income countries to finance and organize waste collection, sorting and recycling. The toolbox is centered around factsheets, FAQs, and case studies and was developed in collaboration with stakeholders from piloting partner countries Ghana and Indonesia. Find the toolbox here.


ClimateSeed is the first social business by BNP Paribas that was created in 2018 with the support of the Yunus Environment Hub and part of BNP Paribas’ social business intrapreneurship program. ClimateSeed’s mission is to contribute to the preservation of our planet by offering organizations to easily and securely take actions towards a more sustainable world. The user-friendly digital platform allows companies to offset their unavoidable CO2 emissions by contributing to a variety of sustainable projects around the world.

For more information see

Waste Wise Partnership

Waste Wise Partnership (WaP), an initiative spearheaded by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), under the Waste Wise Cities programme (WWC), was co-founded by Yunus Environment Hub with the vision of contributing to healthier ecosystems and communities by improving MSW management in cities, and supporting them in transitioning from a linear to a circular economy. WaP aims to bring partners together to enhance coordination and cooperation and deliver aligned products and methodologies to support cities and countries in establishing sustainable MSW management and a circular economy.

Zero Plastic Waste Awareness Campaigns

In order to foster both awareness and action on local plastic waste issues, Yunus Environment Hub offers stakeholder activation workshops in communities of high plastic waste leakage. For example, we conducted an awareness-raising clean-up campaign led by waste pickers to train community leaders and educate households on waste segregation as well as capacity-building workshops through a pop-up recycling center on the Colombian Caribbean coast which aimed at strengthening the waste collection for recycling as well as connecting regional stakeholders and engaging social business entrepreneurs within the community.

Bridges for Peace - Sustainable Agriculture in Rural Colombia

During the peak of the global Covid-19 pandemic Yunus Environment Hub has delivered a 12-week long training and mentoring program for small-holder farmer organizations in rural Colombia as part of Fundación Compaz`s Bridges for Peace Program. During the course of the program four social business entrepreneurs from the Amazonas region, Pacific, Guajira and Bolivar received online trainings and a personalized development plans to overcome challenges related to access to markets, branding & digital marketing and improving financial sustainability. Each venture has a specific approach to empower local communities such as indigenous, afro-Colombian, youth or women groups to provide income opportunities through sustainable agricultural practices.

Circular Ethiopia

Through our comprehensive training program for social business entrepreneurs, we aim to promote circular economy opportunities in Ethiopia. We want to inspire and empower entrepreneurs in a three-phase process:
1) Open access webinars for future and current entrepreneurs

2) 4-week mentoring program for early-stage social business entrepreneurs

3) Circular Ethiopia Demo Day to showcase the social businesses

The Plastic Lab

The Plastic Lab is a creative laboratory that works on solutions to keep plastic out of nature and support the transition to a circular economy by connecting social business entrepreneurs, corporations, scientists and innovators. Social businesses play an important role to create an effective after-use plastics economy to capture more material value and to increase resource productivity to turn the tap on plastic pollution as well as to design new business models that reduce plastic packaging in the first place.

Grameen Precious Plastic

In joint collaboration with the open source project Precious Plastic, Grameen Telecom and Yunus Environment Hub set up a pilot recycling workspace in Dhaka, Bangladesh to engineer products from recycled plastic. After a successful pilot project, the program shall be introduced in different parts of Bangladesh through the incubation of new entrepreneurs of the so-called “Nobin Uddokta Program” to create employment opportunities as well as the manufacture of recycling machines in the country. The program features

(1) the setup of plastic recycling and manufacturing,

(2) training young adults on working with plastic waste and the respective machinery to manufacture products,

(3) designing and testing innovative products made from secondary materials as well as

(4) supporting informal waste pickers who collect the plastic waste.

Grameen Sunpower

Aiming to increase recycling rates in global car manufacturing industries, Japanese car-repair and manufacturing company Sunpower has teamed up with the Grameen network to establish a joint venture based in Bangladesh. Building upon the high recyclability potential of many car parts, the established social business will not only contribute to the transformation towards a more circular global car manufacturing industry, but will furthermore provide employment to workers from the informal sector as well as people with employment difficulties.