Circular Economy SME Business Support Programme – London

The Advance London programme provides free practical help and advice to SMEs in London to enable businesses to adopt and scale up circular business models.


  • Timeframe: 3 years. Jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and LWARB and will be available from January 2017.
  • Budget: The programme will receive £628,936 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, but it remains to be seen whether this figure will be affected by Brexit over the coming years.
  • Phase 1: Advance London is a free service available to eligible SMEs in London. To find out if your business is eligible refer to the eligibility criteria. If your business is eligible and you would like to learn more about the service, complete the expression of interest form expression of interest form and return it to
  • Phase 2: The Advance London programme will provide support to SMEs in London to improve their competitiveness through the adoption of circular business models or scaling up of existing circular businesses.

The programme will support businesses to:

  • Improve their competitiveness
  • Increase growth capacity and generate employment opportunities
  • Introduce new products and services to the market
  • Access finance
  • Improve resource efficiency and minimise waste production.

This will be achieved by delivering practical support such as:

  • Market analysis
  • Options appraisals
  • Financial modelling
  • Business case development
  • Facilitating access to investment and funding

Benefits to a business

The circular economy offers many benefits to businesses and in particular to SMEs who are often vulnerable to market conditions. Some of the key benefits that could be realised by implementing a circular business model include:

  • Access to new markets and new customers
  • Supply chain collaboration and integration
  • Opportunities to create innovative products and solutions
  • Building stronger relationships with consumers by utilising digital technology to change customer interaction
  • Resilience against commodity price volatility and resource scarcity
  • Increased resource efficiency
  • Waste minimisation and opportunities to create revenue streams from waste materials
  • Protection against future regulatory trends
  • Improved environmental performance

Source: LWARB

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