Positive Investments for Positive Impacts: GIMED e-learning tool for investors to boost the transition to a green and circular economy in the Mediterranean
Why are green entrepreneurs still facing severe difficulties when looking for funding?
The majority of the sustainable entrepreneurs (73% of them, according to a survey led by SwitchMed in 2017) affirm that access to funding represents the main challenge for creating and driving their businesses.
Financial institutions play a critical role in supporting the transition to Green Economy that requires diverse and adaptable investments into green businesses and activities, and therefore one of the main objectives in the GIMED project is to focus on financiers and green investors in the Mediterranean countries. In most of the Mediterranean countries there are still important barriers to overcome to better access green finance and green economy funding.
Positive investments are needed to achieve positive impacts. With this goal in mind the Community Foundation of Messina (FdCM), the responsible GIMED partner for the E-learning tool, once the kick-off meeting in Barcelona in October 2019 had cleared all related project elements, started the building of this knowledge tool for financiers designed to support investors to better understand the concepts of Green and Circular Economy and to align their portfolio to the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities.
Using a highly participative methodology at all stages of the building process of the E-learning tool the FdCM proposed a first concept note end of November 2019 to be discussed by all partners. Integrating all inputs received from the GIMED partners FdCM than finalised the concept note, and beginning of March 2020 designed a first general structure of the E-learning tool composed by a series of 7 non-hierarchical Bricks responding to the objectives of awareness raising, knowledge building, answering FAQ and proposing links to on-line tools. FdcM divided the development tasks in parts, asking partners to compile elements, like ARC-SCP/RAC on Circular Economy and eco-design or to complete global and European inputs with local inputs from the partner countries. One brick will only be completed after the training and coaching given to the cohorts of selected green entrepreneurs by the project.
After a period of intense writing, compiling and exchanges with all partners between March and April 2020 a temporary completed text version, 185 pages long, is presented at the second GIMED coordination meeting (on line) the 11 and 12 May 2020.
Graph: Extract Prezi presentation 11/05/20
As you can see from the graph the E-learning tool in its todays text version is composed by 7 Bricks articulated in chapters and sub-chapters:
Brick 1. GLOBAL SCENARIOS: Presents possible world scenarios due to climate change and resource wasting and aims to better understand why the transition to a Green and Circular Economy is a necessity rather than a choice.
Brick 2. CIRCULAR ECONOMY, SCP PRINCIPLES: From a Regional (MED) perspective, gives common definitions related with sustainable business development (what is a green business? What is a circular business model? Which strategies can be implemented to promote green business development? etc.).
Brick 3. SUSTAINABLE FINANCE: From a global and EU perspective, present the main distinctive elements, legal frameworks, and trends in finance for Green and Circular Economy.
Brick 4. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUSTAINABLE FINANCE: From a global and local perspective, present the main characteristics and needs of green start-ups and businesses, as well as new market opportunities for green finance
Brick 5. BEST PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABLE FINANCE: From a local perspective, present best practices of financial tools for green and circular economy
Brick 6. FAQs FOR INVESTORS: Clarify the main doubts a financial actor may have towards green finance: return, risk assessment, impact analysis.
Brick 7. ONLINE RESOURCES AND TOOLS FOR SUSTAINABLE FINANCE: A non-exhaustive list of services and tools currently available that investors engaged in sustainable finance could screen. Most of them are focused on climate-related aspects.
Synergies between Mediterrean Programs
The next step of the process is to adapt and integrate the E-learning tool for financiers in the Switchers.org, the digital learning and management web-portal, developed by ARC-SCP/RAC, that will be launched by the end of 2020.
Through its Spanish partner ARC-SCP/RAC, the GIMED project is closely linked to a broader program: SwitchMed, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Economy Division, the United Nations Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) and its Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC), that is also GIMED lead beneficiary. The initiative, now in its second phase, was launched to speed up the shift to sustainable consumption and production patterns in the Southern Mediterranean, through the promotion of circular economy approaches. Through policy development, demonstration activities and networking opportunities, SwitchMed supports and connects stakeholders to scale-up social and eco innovations in particular through the development of new sustainable businesses and start-ups considered as key enablers of green and circular economy business models needed for the transition towards sustainable consumption and production patterns.
The E-learning tool will be integrated to the Switchers.org web-portal with the aim that this interactive space will stimulate a larger community of financiers to enhance investments in the green and circular economy and will guide investors through identified regional strategic sectors and market opportunities with high investment potential.