The Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency, the Finnish Innovation Fund – Sitra, and the Embassy of Finland in Bulgaria, in partnership with Cleantech Bulgaria, organized the event Circular Opportunities for SMEs, which showed successful examples in the field of the circular economy by the Scandinavian country.

The event was attended by over 70 representatives of the public and private sectors of Bulgaria and Finland and was opened by the Executive Director of BSMEPA Mr. Boyko Takov, and H.E. Mrs. Kristina Kuvaja-Xanthopoulos.

I am sure that the Scandinavian business approach will inspire Bulgarian SMEs and acquaint them with the numerous opportunities offered by the circular economy, said Mr. Takov in his opening remarks, adding that the topic of sustainable production is one of the priorities for BSMEPA and that the agency is the first public institution in Bulgaria to organize an event together with the Finland Innovation Fund.

According to H.E. Ms. Kuvaja-Xanthopoulos the event is an excellent platform for the exchange of know-how, innovation, and successful business practices in the circular economy, and the role of the public sector is precisely to help provide an environment that encourages companies to implement new businesses models.

“We believe in successful business models based on the principles of the circular economy. The examples of business models from our country, which will be shown in this event, prove just that – that the circular economy can be profitable,” she added.

Along with Mr. Takov and H.E. Ms. Kuvaja-Xanthopoulos was joined by Sitra President Jyrki Katainen, who noted the need for an environment to support innovation and legislation at the national and European level in the field of the circular economy.

“The circular economy is a solution as a market method and a basis in which the value of the materials used remains on the market for as long as possible. The product-as-a-service business model and the shared economy are illustrations of the functioning of the circular economy,” he added.

The event was also attended by the President of the Finnish Association for Circular Economics Mr. Tani Jarvinen, Ms. Mariana Hamanova, Executive Director of Cleantech Bulgaria, and Ms. Oti Suomi, Head of Bio and Circular Economics at Business Finland – the Finnish Business Promotion Agency.

Yuri Apronen, Project Director at Sitra, gave a detailed presentation on the opportunities for the circular economy for the SME sector, and Mr. Ventsislav Boyadzhiev, Chief Operating Officer of Lindström Bulgaria, which triumphed at the Forbes Bulgaria Awards in the “Services” category this year, also awarded by the Finnish Innovation Fund – Sitra, and Ms. Satu Kaivonen, Sustainability Manager of Konecranes presented the activities of both companies as successful Finnish examples in the field of circular economy and sustainable development.

Nikolay Mihailov, a consultant at Denkstatt Bulgaria, in turn, presented successful business models for the circular economy.