£10,000 cash prize and tailored support on offer for sustainable entrepreneur

Biffa’s ‘Change Maker’ competition set to change another life after taking small upcycling business Flotsam Flo from strength-to-strength

One sustainable entrepreneur using waste to create new products – in turn helping the UK’s circular economy – will win £10,000 and tailored business support from Biffa.

The UK’s leading sustainable waste management company has launched a nationwide search for its next ‘Change Maker‘ as part of its What Iff campaign.

Biffa will collaborate with the winner to assess the support required and how it will be best used. That might be finding space to work from, logistical advice or a marketing strategy.

There’s no need to own an established business, either. Biffa wants to hear from anyone with a sustainable idea or skill which could grow into something more. You simply need to be passionate about reusing and / or recycling.

How to enter

Prospective Change Makers can apply by recording a 60-second video. They need to explain their business concept, why they believe themselves to be a Change Maker and how Biffa can help. Videos should be submitted via WeTransfer to [email protected] along with a completed submission form via the website.

The judging process

The deadline for entries is 30th April, when a panel of Biffa and external judges will shortlist a final five. The ultimate decision will be down to the public, who can vote via Biffa’s website and social channels. The worthy winner will then be announced at Biffa’s Waste Net Zero event in June 2024.

How life changed for one Change Maker

Biffa’s existing Change Maker Kate Doran’s small sustainable business Flotsam Flo has gone from strength-to-strength after receiving its support.

This includes a studio space to craft, and host workshops, in. Kate, 39, now also has 14 branded bins at holiday parks across Cornwall. Visitors fill these with wetsuits, windbreaks, and inflatables (all either broken or with no further use) that can take up to 100 years to biodegrade so she receives lots of waste from the local area. Biffa collects and returns the materials to Kate’s studio so she can give them a second life as one-of-a-kind accessories like purses, bags and keyrings. She’s also received invaluable mentoring from its sustainability experts.

Now, Biffa wants to help another entrepreneur unlock value through waste and enable a micro circular economy where they live. It’s part of its bigger mission to encourage the nation to see waste differently.

A Flotsam Flo branded Biffa bin, into which the people of Cornwall deposit broken – or unfit for use – materials for Kate to transform into something new

Kate Doran commented:

“I’ve always been passionate about recycling and reuse, but my background isn’t in business. Working with Biffa has taken Flotsam Flo to a level I never dreamed of. From mentoring me to facilitating logistics so I have a constant stream of waste to work with (and keep in the circular economy) the team has supported me not just professionally but personally too. I’ve grown in confidence and feel so connected to my local community.

“It’s the individual efforts of sustainable entrepreneurs that add up to make a big difference to our planet. No idea or business is too small – go for it. Apply today.”

Biffa’s Head of Partnerships, Carla Brian, further commented:

“At Biffa, we see the potential value in surplus and waste, and work closely with businesses to help them unlock this value through redistribution, reuse and recycling.

“We’re proud to now be taking take this a step further by launching the Change Makers competition so a likeminded entrepreneur can benefit from the £10,000 prize and our expert support – whether we’re boosting an existing sustainable venture or kickstarting a new one.

“We believe that innovation often starts at a local level. That’s why we’re eager to find budding entrepreneurs with, or aspiring to have, small businesses that will make a difference in their community with our help. Our aim is to enable micro circular economies across the country.”

Submissions close 30th April 2024.

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