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Research Spotlight - Strategy and Innovation, with Clyde Eiríkur Hull
Challenges and opportunities in building circular-economy incubators: Stakeholder perspectives in Trinidad and Tobago
Abstract: What are the challenges and opportunities involved in the development of circular-economy incubators in a developing economy? A grounded theory approach is used to explore these challenges and opportunities in Trinidad and Tobago. Local stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, non-profits, academics and government agencies, are interviewed and the results are analyzed via axial coding to extract trends in attitudes and perceptions. Two principal results emerge from the analysis: First, while government involvement was viewed as part of the process, stakeholders do not trust the government to lead the development. Second, many stakeholders do not fully understand circular-economy strategies and opportunities, emphasizing traditional waste management approaches such as recycling over value-added conversion of waste. Different stakeholders demonstrate different knowledge gaps, e.g. entrepreneurs tend not to recognize the financial case for circular economy, a prerequisite to their motivation to participate in incubation. These results suggest that circular-economy incubators would help entrepreneurs find and pursue circular-economy opportunities with a limited role for government. Also, education about circular-economy approaches is needed to motivate and inform participation in a circular economy incubator.

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