BeeCircular founder leading the circular economy movement
Green Entrepreneur | Mariana Costa
From this month, we plan to celebrate a ‘Green Entrepreneur’ once a month, by exploring them and their businesses. Green Entrepreneurs are those, whose businesses are working towards reducing environmental impact by adopting the principles of the circular economy. In this issue, we would like to introduce Ms. Mariana Pinto e Costa.
Mariana is a certified trainer and business coach, who is the founder of BeeCircular. She did her Masters degree in Business Strategy and manages the projects funded by the European Union. Mariana coordinates the Circular Economy Club Almada and is currently one of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Circular Economy Pioneers.
Q. Would you share some interesting things about yourself?
A. I have always been a nature and animal lover. When I was 5/6 years old, I used to spend a lot of time alone in the street observing nature. As I became a teenager, I discovered my biggest dream to become a Veterinary. I loved animals. For example, I remember very clearly one time staying for hours observing one dog that had just given birth to their little puppies. When I was 19, I moved to London with a friend, to try to enter Veterinary School. Instead, I studied Dance for a couple of months.
Q. What is your company about?
A. In 2018, I left my secure job as a project manager to start my own regenerative business. In the November of 2018, I started BeeCircular, a creative and innovative project that focuses on the “pollination” of the Circular Economy, particularly in the public and private Portuguese organizations. BeeCircular’s main goal is to empower the Portuguese organizations with the knowledge and the tools that will allow them to implement the Circular Economy model in their organizations and communities, promoting their sustainability and competitiveness and improving the local economies.
Q. Explain your services
A. We have 3 main solutions:
BeeCreative - Circular Innovation: We perform opportunity diagnostics and promote implementation, management, and monitoring impact of innovative projects focused on circular transformation.
BeetheFuture - Training: We carry out online and in-person training that sensitizes and trains participants in a Circular Economy principles. We have turnkey training and tailor-made solutions for companies, associations, public organizations schools, and universities.
BeeSocial - Events for Circular Transformation: In addition to presenting the advantages and possibilities of the Circular Economy, our events include practical and interactive sessions, which allow participants to reflect, debate, and experience the transformational power of the Economy.
Q. What do you want to solve with your business?
A. Unfortunately, many organizations still do not understand the extent of Circular Economy proposition. The Circular Economy is the best proposal we have at our disposal to solve the current environmental, social, and economic challenges.
With our solutions, we want to ensure that organizations that cross our path have the tools they need to implement this model in their DNA, boosting their results and ensuring a regenerative, zero waste, and competitive posture.
Q. Why do you think this is the right time to start up a business for the climate emergency?
A. The environmental challenges we experience have been talked about for some decades now. However, it seems only more recently that citizens and organizations have begun to pay real attention to this issue and understand the true implications of these challenges.
This "awakening" phase represents an unprecedented opportunity— Never have there been so many opportunities and support for those who want to commit to the regeneration of societies and natural systems. There are now many people ready to get down to work and countless funding opportunities, mentoring and coaching, and synergies, among many others.
It is a very interesting and exciting time to start a business focused on the regeneration of systems.
Q. What are the challenges of being an Entrepreneur?
A. There are many of them! To start with, in the beginning, almost every entrepreneur has to have a huge capacity for multitasking. Almost all entrepreneurs start with few resources, so it is natural that you have to take on several roles, often on the same day.
Then you need a huge capacity for resilience. There are many times when motivation fails, and we doubt ourselves.
In other situations, especially in this area, we see that despite our efforts, we are still far from reaching the "destination" we want and that many organizations simply "destroy" part or all of the work we are doing, through a posture that is harmful to all living beings.
It takes a great mental structure to be able to carry out our plans and manage everything necessary to move forward with our vision.
And of course, to be able to overcome all these and so many other challenges, you need a great passion for what you do.
Q. Your tips for growing a company?
A. First, realize that this is a marathon. Growing a company takes time, a lot of work, and patience. I believe that management, planning, and strategy make miracles. We must know our goals very well and how and when we want to get there.
On the other hand, it is important, little by little, to surround ourselves with people we trust and who join us and our purposes. Of course, I am talking about collaborators, but also partners, with whom we can develop synergies so that we can go further.
I also believe in transparency—being honest in the communication with all stakeholders. People like honesty and tend to trust much more when they see it.
Q. What are the plans for your company in the next 5 years?
A. My biggest goal is to encourage and support as many public organizations as possible to develop and implement a roadmap for local circular transformation. Most municipalities have not yet done this kind of work and do not yet have strategies and plans for climate change adaptation and transition to a regenerative and circular model.
Also, some of the goals that we want to archive in the next 5 years are: We want to stand alongside at least 50 Portuguese municipalities, supporting them to design their strategy and implement it.
We want to train at least 90,000 people in the next 5 years with the knowledge they need to be leaders in this transition.
And we also want to, directly and indirectly, support at least 9,000 companies to implement this regenerative model in their organizations.
Note-Edited by Parva Chhantyal
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Congratulations Mariana! Go forward!