SIRCLES: Lella Miccolis, a story of composting and female entrepreneurship in Puglia, Italy


This article forms part of a series of publications under SIRCLES project to support circular economy opportunities for employment and social inclusion in our partner territories Palestine, Lebanon, Spain, Tunisia, Italy, Greece, and Jordan.

During the launch of SIRCLES project activities in the pilot area of Valle d’Itria – Puglia (Italy), – the Italian Composting and Biogas Association – CIC project coordinators met Lella Miccolis, CEO of Progeva Progeva Srl, a SIRCLES associate partner. Progeva is an industrial composting facility licensed to treat 77.000 tonnes of bio-wastes per year in southern Italy which is generating high quality compost.

The video interview with Lella Miccolis, recorded in Alberobello, can be viewed here:

Lella says: “I’m very proud of being an entrepreneur here, I wouldn’t have done it elsewhere. I also invested in other areas, but I liked the idea of starting from Puglia, as I believe strongly in my region’s potential.”

She emphasizes the fact that her large-scale composting facility is well integrated with the local community, and considers that this investment creates added value for the territory. She says: “I'm a woman: it was not easy for two reasons. Being a woman entrepreneur is not easy and operating in the waste sector is even more difficult, but I did it. I have been doing it for many years. I also operate in more institutional contexts, as I like to think that my voice may resonate boundaries of my company.”

Lella is very happy that the SIRCLES project has been appreciated and approved by the European Union, as it offers support to those who find themselves in a weak position in the labour market; women with social problems because of various reasons, but also young people in general, who are facing great difficulties with social inclusion and entering into the work market.

She is on the board of the Italian Composting and Biogas Association, a lead partner of the Italian pilot project, so she’s sure that it will have very good results.

Lella, besides being the CEO of Progeva Srl, is partner of other companies that work to ensure sustainability in the agricultural sector (Fertileva Srl, producing soil improvers with compost generated from Progeva plant) and high-quality food producers (Ortogourmet Soc.Agr.Srl; Terre di Altamura Srl). These are companies that work synergically and collaboratively, presenting a concrete example of circular economy.