Social Entrepreneurship Fair 2019 - Circular Economy Challenge

Social Entrepreneurship Fair 2019 - Circular Economy Challenge

Do you have an idea to get energy from car scrap, reuse coffee mugs or give wedding dresses a second life? The Vrije Universiteit Brussel calls on students, entrepreneurs and other innovative minds to launch a project proposal that fits within the Brussels circular economy, as a team, before 20 December. Pitch an idea in one of the five focus areas and get guidance on how to implement it.

The 'Circular Economy Challenge' is an initiative of the VUB Chair of Social Entrepreneurship which, together with founding partners BNP Paribas Fortis, Close the Gap and Euroclear, has been supporting social entrepreneurs since 2015. Prof. Dr. Nikolay Dentchev, Chairholder: "Brussels suffers from a variety of social and environmental problems. Through this Challenge, we want to encourage people to come up with innovative ideas within the circular economy. Our focus areas are (1) big data, (2) energy, (3) electronic waste, (4) mobility and (5) the reuse of materials. We choose for a competition in a team because we want to bring together like-minded people with different expertise and backgrounds."


The Circular Economy Challenge is aimed at students (at the VUB or other universities or high schools), entrepreneurs, employees and innovative minds. Participation is free, but teams are committed to the entire competition process:

  • 26 November 2019: Launch of Circular Economy Challenge at the 3rd VUB Social Entrepreneurship Fair in Aula QA of VUB Campus Etterbeek. Participants in the Challenge can network with potential team partners and find inspiration during this kick-off fair with more than 40 projects on social entrepreneurship and exciting keynotes.

  • December 20, 2019: Deadline for online registration via, with an English project proposal in max. 500 words.

  • 15 January 2020: Selected teams will receive an invitation to a two-day bootcamp at DigitYzer, a digital innovation centre in the heart of Brussels, where they can convert their idea into a prototype.

  • March 14, 2020: Three finalists present their idea at an event on corporate social responsibility, where the public chooses the winner.

The winning team will receive professional guidance (from experts from the network of the three financing partners) to further develop their idea and will also be able to use the crowdsourcing and crowdfunding platform of the VUB Chair of Social Entrepreneurship. Prof. Dr. Dentchev: "In this way, the university gives the winners of this competition the opportunity to do social business in a risk-free manner." 

Let's stay in touch

Join more than 25,000 subscribers and receive every fortnight in your mailbox our free newsletter (only in French or Dutch), packed with the latest news, fascinating testimonials, actionable advice and an overview of useful workshops and networking activities for entrepreneurs in Brussels !