STAND UP! provides key business support and technology transfer to help scale, replicate and expand inclusive circular economy ventures in the Mediterranean, specifically aiming to generate sustainable jobs for youth and women.

Circular economy

Innovation already exists, we just need to invest in it.

Right now, a wave of small to medium businesses are in the process of developing. It is up to us to STAND UP! and back the businesses that nurture a circular economy. When we converge and work together, we support a swell of eco-entrepreneurs that raise our regional potential for a sustainable future. 

STAND UP! takes the steps that lift good ideas into grounded reality. The project focuses on delivering investment and support to thought leaders who are envisioning new pathways to address shared global challenges. These individuals demonstrate that it is possible to regenerate and restore nature, create circular economies and deliver sustainable livlihoods for youth and women. 

Grounded in a long history of textile production in the Mediterranean region, STAND UP! focuses on powering the shift in the textile industry to a sustainable circular system. The engine to drive this transition are the innovative eco-entrepreneurs! Currently the project works in five countries identifying opportunities to nurture and empower a green evolution. Selected participants are eligible to receive training, financial grants, technology transfer and support for Intellectual Property Rights protection, among other activities. Empowering the small and medium sized enterprises in the region by building capacity to be more competitive raises the potential and power of the entire supply chain.

How do we do it?

STAND UP! works with existing small and medium size entrepreneurs in the textile industry who are ready to increase their income and minimise their ecological footprint. Considering the range of awareness and capacity in the region, STAND UP! establishes meaningful engagement with entrepreneurs at different stages of growth.

The STAND UP! programming brings together eco-innovative textile and clothing entrepreneurs and enterprises; sector aggregators; local authorities; academic and research institutions; local, national and regional public sector organisations; and relevant intellectual property agencies. STAND UP! currently works with 400 ideation-stage ventures to identify and generate employment opportunities and 20 early and growth stage ventures to maintain stable employment. 

From practitioners to policy makers

STAND UP! is not only for the entrepreneurs, it is a project that seeks to incubate innovation by supporting clear and effective supportive policy. STAND UP! supports stakeholders to develop national policy recommendations and sustainable textile and clothing roadmaps for Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia. The engagement with public authorities and intellectual property agencies facilitates improved Intellectual Property Rights to ventures. 

Committed decision makers utilising the strategic roadmaps invest in the momentum to shift towards a thriving green startup ecosystem, ensuring a skilled transition in the textile and clothing sectors to an inclusive circular economy.

MedWaves’s role: 

MedWaves is the lead coordinator and implementer for STAND UP! Through the management of the development of the tools, MedWaves supports capacity building workshops and coaching sessions for access to finance and markets. 

In 2020, MedWaves, through SwitchMed, launched: ‘Circular business opportunities in the south Mediterranean: how can businesses lead the way to sustainable fashion?’ This publication identifies specific strategies to achieve a transition to circular economy in the south Mediterranean textile and fashion industry by:

  • Preventing pollution and saving resources;
  • Recovering resources after disposal;
  • Extending resource use and reducing disposal during the use and maintenance phases;
  • Increasing resource utilisation rates; and
  • Shifting to circular supplies and renewable resources.

For each strategy, the publication provides different business models as examples of  alternatives to the ‘fast-fashion’ model of take-use-waste. With each case study, there is an  analysis of challenges, barriers, drivers and opportunities to enable analysis and replication for both businesses and consumers.

STAND UP! and the 2nd edition of the WeMed Award:

The WeMed Award is a flagship initiative created by MedWaves in 2021 with the aim of giving visibility to business models that promote sustainable production and consumption patterns. We celebrate the success stories in sustainable business! The award recognises the important role of sustainable entrepreneurs as the key drivers in our transition towards a green, circular and blue economy in the Mediterranean. 

In its second edition, funded through the STAND UP! project, the award aims to: 

  1. Recognise success stories of sustainable start-ups with sustainable business models within the green and circular economy in the Mediterranean Area in the textile and clothing sector, led by women and/or youth.
  2. Inspire other start-ups and entrepreneurs within the textile fashion and clothing sector from the Mediterranean region to integrate environmental and social innovations within their business models. 

More information: 

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