Funder: Environmental Protection Agency under the National Waste Prevention Programme

Duration: 2021 – 2022 (24 Months); 2023 (12 Months)

Lead on Project: The Rediscovery Centre

Status: Open


The Circular Economy Academy is a free mentoring and support programme for social enterprises and community organisations. It assists social enterprises and community organisations in any part of Ireland to move their activities towards sustainability and embrace the circular economy.  


The circular economy model is a perfect fit for Irish social enterprises and community organisations looking to establish a new project or expand operations whilst supporting climate action and environmental protection. It enables products to stay in circulation for longer through reuse, repair and innovation and prevents the creation of waste.

The aim of the Circular Economy Academy is to facilitate Ireland’s transition to the Circular Economy through Demonstration, Education & Collaboration. The support provided is based on the Rediscovery Centre’s vast knowledge of social enterprise development and design thinking concepts, from advice for start ups to business planning, funding, diversification, training and more. Each service is tailor-made to suit the needs of the participating organisation.


The purpose and mission of the Academy is to enable growth of circular economy activities through the social enterprise model, by sharing knowledge, experience and access to the networks that the Rediscovery Centre has accumulated since its establishment.

Next Steps:

The Rediscovery Centre is currently supporting a wide range of Circular Economy Academy members, including:

  • Native Events, which produces sustainable events, including shows and markets, demonstrating Irish innovations in crafts and sustainability. 
  • Spraoi Agus Sport (Co. Donegal), an award-winning social enterprise in Co. Donegal which has established a furniture reuse workshop, sewing training room and is exploring other services.
  • Údarás na Gaeltachta, which supports a wide range of enterprise development and job creation initiatives, and is working on early concept project planning for a recycling centre and reuse hub in Connemara.
  • CLÂN, which is dedicated to introducing circular business models for the Clothing/Textiles Industry through knowledge, education, and networking.
  • Haven Horizons, a voluntary organisation dedicated to ending violence and abuse against women and children, which is exploring opportunities for additional circular economy enterprises.

In 2023 the Rediscovery Centre will deliver 20 one to one mentoring sessions as well as group sessions to support Academy member projects. At the end of 2023, their achievements will be showcased.

If you would like to find out more about the Circular Economy Academy, please contact us

Partners: Native Events, ClareCare, Spraoi Agus Sport, Údarás Na Gaeltachta, CLÂN, Haven Horizons