In January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, SAP and Google Cloud challenged social entrepreneurs to submit proposals for revenue-generating ideas that use both Google Cloud and SAP solutions to advance a circular economy.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the circular economy is a system that supports economic growth, social well-being, and sustainability. In 2018, global demand for resources was 1.7 times what the earth can support in one year and is only expected to rise.

The Circular Economy 2030 contest drew in more than 250 proposals hailing from all over the world. We have selected five finalists. The five social entrepreneurs selected as finalists are building profitable businesses that use technology to address the challenges we face to protect our planet. The grand prize winner will be announced next week at SAPPHIRE NOW on Thursday, May 9.

Meet the Circular Economy 2030 Finalists

Solar Freeze: Food Waste and Renewable Energy

Dysmus Kisilu is the founder of Solar Freeze, a company that specializes in providing renewable energy solutions to rural communities in Kenya. Dysmus is also the founder of “Each One, Teach One,” an initiative within Solar Freeze that aims to impact the next generation of renewable energy leaders in Africa by mentoring young people aged 18 to 29 years in the operation, maintenance, and repair of renewable energy solutions, specifically for agriculture. Since 2016, Dysmus has worked with 3,000 small-scale farmers to increase agricultural yields by more than 150 percent.

Topolytics: Industrial Waste

Michael Groves is a geographer with a PhD in aerial and satellite earth observation, and more than 20 years of experience in environmental management and sustainability reporting. He is the founder of Topolytics, a technology company based in Scotland that uses data science and machine learning to maximize the utility of the world’s commercial and industrial waste materials. Topolytics is recognized by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a leading global circular economy innovator (CE100) and is noted by Cleantech Group as a leading “smart waste” company.

Circunomics: E-Waste

Patrick Peter founded Circunomics, an e-waste company based out of Germany. Circunomics was formed to solve one of the circular economy’s biggest challenges: significantly reducing the waste of precious battery resources by creating a profitable battery aftermarket. Peter is a father, PhD candidate in business administration, and holds an MBA from Frankfurt University.

Goodr: Food Waste

Jasmine Crowe is an HBCU alumna working to make the world a better place one cause at a time. In January of 2017, she created Goodr, a tech-enabled sustainable food waste management company based in the U.S. with a goal to eliminate hunger and reduce food waste. Under Crowe’s direction Goodr has now diverted nearly 2 million pounds of food from landfill and serves clients that include Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport, the NFL, The Georgia World Congress Center, MetLife, and more.

Reverse Resources: Textile Waste

Ann Runnel is passionate about circular economy, and was looking for business incentives and systemic solutions that would help large market-leading corporations switch to fundamentally sustainable practices. After 10 years of research and five years of running the Estonia-based company Reverse Resources, she and her team have developed a business model and a system to help the fashion industry turn its textile production waste into a new resource.

According to Accenture, a circular economy could generate $4.5 trillion of new economic output by 2030. That timeline happens to coincide with the United Nations (UN) Agenda 2030, a global plan of action representing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to create a world without poverty, a healthy planet, and a better society for everyone.

While The Circular Economy 2030 contest focuses on SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, SAP realizes that all 17 goals are interconnected and we are committing our talent, our technology, and access to our global ecosystem to help achieve these goals. We are invigorated and inspired by all of the organizations that submitted a proposal to the contest and are thrilled at the prospects of partnering with these five incredible finalists moving forward.

Stay tuned for our big announcement from Orlando, where SAP and Google Cloud will name one of these social entrepreneurs the winner of The Circular 2030 contest.

Janis Fratamico is vice president of Brand Experience at SAP.