Entrepreneurship plays a pivotal role in diminishing economic inequalities and fostering a cohesive social tapestry within the implicated local communities. Inclusive, circular entrepreneurship makes a huge difference in addressing the sustainability challenges we face today. 

Since 2012, Ekonnect Knowledge Foundation (a Section 8, not-for-profit company) has been working on raising awareness, offering training, influencing education, and mentoring entrepreneurs. Apart from several community-based and corporate-supported initiatives in these arenas, Ekonnect came up with the first-of-its-kind ideas. The initiatives included designing and organising hackathons on waste management and circular solutions, conducting master classes on circular economy and international leadership programs, and mentoring eco-entrepreneurs. These engagements reflect our commitment to continuous knowledge sharing,  promoting eco-innovations, building on our experience and staying connected.

There has been a growing interest in eco-innovations, sustainability and responsible finance. At the heart of this reflection is Environmental Management Centre (EMC), a sustainability consulting organisation with a mission that predates the current sustainability wave by more than 28 years. EMC's mission, 'Practicing sustainability to the Advantage of All,' was crafted when sustainability was not the popular 'buzz' as it is today.

The synergy between the Environmental Management Centre’s (EMC) practice experience and Ekonnect's commitment to capacity-building thus becomes pivotal in the eco-entrepreneurship space. EMC's expertise in providing circular and sustainable solutions through multi-stakeholder engagement seamlessly flows into Ekonnect, where the intent is to build and enhance capacities, ultimately nurturing enterprises to realise their aspirations and actualise their dreams.

Circular businesses prioritise reuse, repurposing, recycling, refurbishing and remanufacturing, thereby promoting responsible consumption. In such a realm, enterprises often grapple with multifaceted challenges, including carving their idea into a sustainable business model and communicating their positive impact on society. Convincing the investors is yet another challenge. Entrepreneurs leading these businesses, therefore, need careful mentoring and handholding in their journey and guidance in navigating the complexities of sustainability, innovation, and market dynamics. Ekonnect provides this guidance through programs and workshops like masterclasses, hackathons, training for B2B connect, mentoring for women entrepreneurs and so on.

Established in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and founded by UN bodies, SEED has been an active catalyst in promoting eco-entrepreneurship worldwide. Ekonnect is engaged with SEED and Circular Economy Catalyst(CEC), another program managed by Adelphi, Germany, under SEED. This Green Entrepreneurship programme focuses on MSMEs in India to further circular and green growth. Since 2013, SEED has been a crucial player in India's transition to a low-carbon and green economy. 

Armed with SEED’s training toolkits and EMC’s practice experience, Ekonnect looks forward to partnering with Government bodies in their various innovation-related schemes, engaging with corporates to tap their CSR funds to strengthen the eco-innovation ecosystem and helping Universities embed eco-entrepreneurship complementing their education programmes.

While this is the plethora of areas covered by Ekonnect Knowledge Foundation until now, we are on a constant lookout for projects to expand our portfolio, and novel and creative ways to contribute to promoting eco-entrepreneurship.
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Ekonnect Knowledge Foundation
1308, Wing B, Kohinoor Square,
N. C. Kelkar Road,Shivaji Park,
Dadar (West), Mumbai 400 028
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