Welcome to the Future of Sustainable Innovation!


About the Competition:

The Cropper Foundation has partnered with COSTAATT under the Inter-American Development Bank Innovation Lab (IDB-Lab) funded project “Catalysing and Connecting the Circular Economy” to support Circular Economy businesses. The partnership will see COSTAATT lead The Circular Economy Road Map report and Mentorship and Business Pitch Competition through August 2024.

We invite these cutting-edge individuals and organisations to participate in the Full-Circle Challenge – Circular Economy Business Pitch Competition. This ground-breaking event aims to unearth and support the brightest ideas contributing to a regenerative and restorative economy.


Why Circular Economy?

The traditional linear economy model of “take, make, dispose” is no longer sustainable. A circular economy, on the other hand, promotes the principles of reducing waste, reusing resources, and recycling materials to create a closed-loop system. This innovative approach helps conserve our planet’s resources and fosters economic growth.


  • New Entrepreneur – TT$100,000
  • SME – TT$100,000
  • Public Benefit Organisation – TT$100,000


Sponsors: Support the next wave of sustainable innovations by becoming a sponsor. Contact us at fullcircle@costaatt.edu.tt to learn how you can support.


Join us in creating a world where innovation thrives and sustainability is the driving force behind economic success. Together, let’s reshape the future through the power of the circular economy!

Key Dates:

Applications open: January 15, 2024

Deadline for submissions: March 7th, 2024.

Contact Us:

Email – fullcircle@costaatt.edu.tt

Learn More:

 The Circular Economy is an exciting change related to existing business and consumption models. Please use the following links to start learning more about the Circular Economy.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Application process?

The Full-Circle Challenge application is straightforward.


Step 1: 

Complete the online application form providing some details on:

  • Biodata on themselves
  • Product/service idea
  • Potential impact
  • Business/NGO registration documents, if applicable


Step 2: 

Applications will be screened, and 20 participants will be invited to attend a coaching/mentorship programme, which will assist in ideation and pitch presentation. Participants will prepare:

  • A 10-page business plan
  • A 90-second video pitch
  • A media kit

All information submitted by applicants will be confidential.

Who is offering this grant?

Through an IDB-Lab grant, The Cropper Foundation and COSTAATT are supporting the identification and development of circular economy organisations in Trinidad and Tobago.

“The Catalysing and Connecting the Circular Economy” project aims to pilot a viable private sector driven model to promote sustainable recycling and circular economy interventions in Trinidad and Tobago. The project is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank Innovation Laboratory (IDB-LAB) and is being executed by the Cropper Foundation (TCF) in partnership with key private sector companies; Container Recycling Services Ltd – Every Bottle Back TT, Nestle TT and New Age Recycling.

The project began in early 2022 and is expected to end in July 2024. The joint support and investments provided by the IDB-LAB and private sector partners will contribute to the achievement of the project’s objective through the implementation of four (4) key components:

1:Catalysing Behaviour Change

2: Piloting the Recycling Process

3: Stakeholder Engagement and Coordination 

4: Support for Circular Economy Businesses. 

Is this a business loan?

This is a grant, which means it is not to be repaid. This grant will provide direct funding to entrepreneurs, SMEs or public benefit organisations to advance their work in the circular economy within Trinidad and Tobago.

Who is considered an SME?

A small enterprise in T&T is defined as having a staff of between 6 and 25 employees and sales of up to TT$5m (USD$770,000) annually. In comparison, a medium enterprise has 26-50 employees and sales of up to TT$10m (USD$1.5m) annually.

Who is eligible?

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating in any industry of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Non-profit organisations


Please note that all SMEs and Non-profit organisations must be:

    • Registered and involved in any of the industries of Trinidad and Tobago. These can include sole traders, partnerships, and limited liability companies.
    • In operation for at least one year.
    • Focused on creating and delivering a product or service that promotes circular economy concepts.

Can registered SMEs outside of T&T apply?

No, all participants must be registered in Trinidad and Tobago; however, local SMEs may have a foreign partner as long as at least 50% of the partnership belongs to the firm in T&T.

How much is the grant?

There will be three (3) awards of TT$100,000 and two (2) awards of TT$20,000. One of the TT$100,000 grants is reserved for organisations operating within the public benefit sector.

What can the grant be used for?

  • Professional fees of experts contracted for the project
  • Costs associated with hiring staff or assigning existing staff specifically to the project during the implementation of the project
  • Fees for external technical testing services
  • Prototyping costs
  • Consumables related to the project
  • Graphic design: identity, logo, packaging, brochures, social media
  • Marketing material during the project period – e.g. trials
  • Packaging material during the project period – e.g. trials
  • Sales and marketing during the project period – e.g. trials
  • Certification and auditing –related to an innovation
  • Intellectual property –professional fees and registration in the first market
  • Raw material –for testing, demonstration purposes and piloting the innovation
  • Rent of special facilities related to project development -e.g. temperature-controlled room, laboratory facility

How will the applications be assessed?

Applicants will be selected based on how well aligned their product or service is with the goals of the Full-Circle Challenge and, by extension, a circular economy.

What does the Full-Circle Challenge aim to achieve?

The Full Circle Challenge is designed to identify activities and services that focus on promoting circular economy behaviours, activities, products and services that reduce the use of finite resources and close material loops within Trinidad and Tobago

What is the Circular Economy?

The Circular Economy is a model where materials never become waste and nature is regenerated. It promotes the continued circulation of products and materials through maintenance, reuse, refurbishment, remanufacture, recycling, and composting. The circular economy addresses global challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution, by decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources. More information can be found at https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/

Why is the circular economy important?

The circular economy provides us with tools that can assist in combating climate change and biodiversity loss while addressing social challenges. It promotes prosperity, jobs, and resilience while reducing the challenges of greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and pollution.

What are examples of circular economy in action?

Circular economy solutions seek ways to use materials already in use more efficiently, conserving resources. Products can use less resources or are designed to eliminate waste. As a people, we have many examples of circular behaviours.


  • Example 1: Agricultural waste used to create compost for use as fertilisers or feed on the farm.


Example 2: Using waste plastic as an additive in creating cement products and avoiding using a portion of sand.