Example of management by external experts
Solid funding programme management requires expertise in different fields such as finance, technology, legislation, and of course, circularity. If not available in-house, such wide-ranging expertise can be obtained from external experts or by subcontracting specific management tasks. To effectively source appropriate expertise, the objectives of the funding programme and scope of funding instruments have to be clearly formulated. Amsterdam and London are good examples where external experts were engaged to oversee the management of the programmes.
Amsterdam: employing an external partner to manage the fund
As a pioneer in the field of circular economy, the city of Amsterdam has had an active role in supporting many different circular projects. However, for the funding of larger and riskier projects the city has set-up a dedicated programme, the Amsterdams Klimaat en Energiefonds , which is managed by the external fund manager e3 . The programme was created to support sustainable projects that are still in an early development phase. e3 is an independent fund manager specialised in financing projects leading to significant reductions in CO2 emissions. With its expertise in structured (project) finance and venture capital, e3 is capable of managing investments in a broad spectrum of initiatives, such as the programme for Amsterdam.
London: operating a collaborative model to deliver the investment programme
The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) is responsible for providing support in the transition towards a low-carbon circular economy in the city of London, through a collaborative model. Many of the programmes are managed by external partners with corporate, financial, and strategic expertise, as outlined below:
- Circular London Accelerator is a funding instrument launched by LWARB in partnership with The Carbon Trust . The fund is designed to provide intensive support to innovators within the built environment sector. The programme is largely managed by The Carbon Trust which offers great climate action expertise. Apart from equity and loan management they provide services in support of the circular transition. These services include technical, business model innovation, green finance, and strategic advice.
- The Sustainable Accelerator is a fund, partly funded by LWARB and Sustainable Ventures , created to finance and support early stage sustainable start-ups. The fund is managed by Sustainable Ventures which has great expertise in the development of new sustainable businesses and in providing additional support. It provides more than just capital as it also offers a one-year programme which comprises bespoke expert support, strategic planning, workspace, and industry networks.
- Circularity European Growth Fund I LP is a European funding instrument, partially funded by LWARB, seeking investment opportunities in mature circular businesses with proven cash flow and profit that need significant capital to scale further. The investment programme is operated by Circularity Capital : this external expert provides a support system in finance and compliance, origination and investment due diligence, as well as project organisation and management.