Circularity in action: social entrepreneurship in London
Masha Guyard and Alexander Rose, both graduates of the Circular Start-up programme by Impact Hub London which is supported by JPMorgan Chase, exemplify the transformative potential of circular solutions in addressing pressing social issues.
At the heart of the CirculUP! project lies a compelling mission – to spotlight and celebrate pioneering entrepreneurs within the Impact Hub Network, who exemplify the principles of the circular economy. By sharing their journeys, our goal is to boost awareness and promote the adoption of a circular economy in Armenia, catalysing a transformative shift toward sustainability.
This is the remarkable story of circular entrepreneurs, Masha Guyard and Alexander Rose – two graduates of the Circular Start-up programme by Impact Hub London, which is supported by JPMorgan Chase – who have harnessed the power of circularity to create a positive impact in their communities and beyond.
The Circular Start-up is an 18-month programme designed to empower local entrepreneurs to develop circular solutions for their communities. As the programme comes to a close, we reflect on the stories of two graduates and how they’ve embedded principles of circularity into their social causes.
Each One, Teach One
Masha Guyard is a self-taught pandemic quilter with over 25 years of experience working in community development and engagement within education, families and community support as a trained adult and family learning facilitator. With the help of the Circular Start-Up, Masha developed Each One, Teach One (formerly known as Made in Mash) a community scrap and quilting studio.
Her venture works with people in low-income communities in Hackney to learn about the art of quilting. To date, she has secured a workshop space where she provides a free and safe space for people to learn to create quilts using scraps, off-cuts, deadstock and donations from local businesses.
She aims to honour the art of quilting which includes well-being, community, creativity and upcycling, by supporting people to use problem-solving skills by providing a free, safe, intergenerational studio space where the community can create beautiful quilts.
Alexander Rose has devoted the last 15 years supporting people leaving prison. His venture, CartridgeBuyBack collects unused and unwanted printer cartridges from offices and home and recirculates them through sales in his eBay store.
The operations provide flexible employment to prison leavers while the profits fund a range of resettlement-focused grants that specifically help people in the justice system find work and rebuild their lives. Since the inception of his venture, he has reinvested £2000 pounds into the cause and continues to see growth. The circular start-up is designed to bring everyone into the climate action space.
“Since learning more about circularity, you see that everything is interconnected and that we need to work together to find solutions” said Masha when asked to reflect on the end of the programme.
This powerful realisation serves as a compelling testament to the potential impact of the CirculUP! Project in Armenia. Their stories vividly illustrate how embracing circular principles not only addresses pressing environmental concerns but also fosters stronger, more resilient communities. It underscores the idea that circular solutions are social solutions too and that caring for the world is caring for your community.
This article is presented in collaboration with Impact Hub London.
The CirculUP! project in Armenia is a transformative initiative spearheaded by the collaborative efforts of the Impact Hub Network, Impact Hub Yerevan, and the Environment and Health NGO, with support from the European Union in Armenia.
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