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We live in a time of transition, wheresolutions are being sought out to resolve big societal, economic and environmental challenges. To address these challenges, we need to organise our activities and especially the way we do business in a different way. In a linear economy resources are extracted as if there are no limits and economic prosperity is the end goal for many businesses. However, this way of operating does not consider our social and environmental values. New business models are being invented to optimise these values while maintaining economic viability. This shift in the way we do business is from quantity (selling as many products as possible) to quality (creating a business model around a product's longevity and closing resource cycles).
While researching financial barriers for entrepreneurs with circular business strategies, we encountered many different categorisations and listings of circular business models. This enforced the demand for a simple, balanced categorisation of these strategies and an overview of the circular business models that currently exist. In the report "Money Makes The World Go Round" (FinanCE Working Group 2016), a simple categorisation was established that enabled structuring for corresponding financial challenges. This categorisation was seen as a clear framework, especially for entrepreneurs transitioning towards a circular business model. Therefore this categorisation was extended with a correspondingappealing visual of the Value Hill (Hinfelaar et al., 2016).
This paper presents the Value Hill: a circular business strategy tool that provides companies with an understanding of how to position their business in a circular context and to develop future strategies for a circular economy. Additionally, the Value Hill provides an overview of the circular partners and collaborations essential to the success of a circular value network the guide builder.