The Switchers Support Programme

The Switchers Support Programme creates an enabling environment for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises pursuing circular economic and sustainable business models in the Mediterranean region.

  • Are you looking to boost your entrepreneurial spirit?
  • Would you like support on your entrepreneurial journey, from defining the idea to the commercialisation of products and services?
  • Do you wish to launch a business capable of generating added value at all levels: economic, environmental and social?
    Are you at the ideation or early stage of developing a business, seeking to discover entrepreneurial solutions to your challenges?
  • Do want to be part of a network to create partnerships with other like-minded organisations, sharing experiences and inspiration?

If you have said yes to any of these questions, the Switchers Support Programme was designed for you.

The Switchers Support Programme creates an enabling environment for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) pursuing circular economic and sustainable business models in the Mediterranean. The programme is possible through the financial support of the EU-funded SwitchMed Initiative, EU-funded ENI CBC MED Green Impact MED Project, Catalan Waste Agency, MAVA Foundation and the OSCE. Currently, activities benefit the private and public sector actors in eight countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.

The Programme provides entrepreneurs, business support organisations and local communities with business development services, networking opportunities and access to finance services. 

The Switchers: Mediterranean change-makers and innovators 

The Switchers is a community of inspiring green entrepreneurs and changemakers in the Mediterranean region. Switchers are individuals, enterprises or civil society organisations implementing innovative ecological and social solutions that contribute to a switch to sustainable and fair consumption and production models.  

They are active in a variety of fields, including organic farming, sustainable tourism, waste management, organic textile, recycling of electronic waste, sustainable building, organic cosmetics production, among others.  

Most importantly, the Switchers is a community with a voice and a meeting place for people in the region who are passionate about shaping their environment towards a more sustainable future. For the Switchers, circular economy solutions are at the heart of their business models and also inspire them to seek ways to innovate and achieve even higher levels of environmental sustainability in the design of products and services they provide.  

Together, these important economic actors are making significant progress towards one of the region’s key sustainable development objectives: to accelerate the shift to more sustainable modes of consumption and production. In doing so, they are setting a positive example of how economic growth can also lead to protection of the Mediterranean and its precious, limited natural resources. 

The SSP’s approach 

The Switchers Support Programme works with ideation-, early- and growth-stage entrepreneurs engaged in sustainable products and services as well as with a wide range of partners that affect and influence the world of business, such as policy makers, business intermediaries and impact financing institutions.

The Programme is intended to catalyse green innovation and green employment across sectors, supporting the collective sustainable development effort in the Mediterranean region.

  • We build local capacities in the field of Green and Circular Economy.
  • We engage with a wide range of partners including policy-makers, business intermediaries and impact financing institutions both at regional and national levels.
  • We connect and bring together all stakeholders in the field of circular businesses and create synergies by sharing experiences with other like-minded change makers and amongst other key players.
  • We boost green growth by accelerating and facilitating new circular businesses ideas and showcasing.

Why is the Programme unique? 10 great facts about the SSP

The Programme is unique in its dedication to providing tangible strategies for entrepreneurs to design, develop and accelerate green and circular business models. This support is delivered through opportunities for networking, business development and access to finance services.

  1. Business Ecosystem Approach. The programme works with and for local stakeholders to promote enabling business ecosystems and assist public and private stakeholder to transition to more sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  2. Inclusive and interdisciplinary approach. The Green Business Model Development service uses an inclusive and interdisciplinary approach allowing a greater outreach in terms of rural/urban patterns and targeted population.
  3. Innovative methodology. The training methodology on green business development and knowledge creation is highly relevant and applicable to the local context and needs of the green entrepreneurs.
  4. Effective training delivery methods. Quality delivery mechanisms are ensured using extended mentoring methodology combining face-to-face mentorship and practical work over a longer period than other support programmes, taking into account also the cultural local context.
  5. High quality local trainers. Top notch trainers who are experienced in the support and assistance of entrepreneurs and in the creation of start-ups and enterprises.
  6. Tailor-made technical expertise. High-quality technical expertise provided, enabling quality delivery mechanisms and accelerating the business life cycle of green entrepreneurs.
  7. Outstanding networking opportunities. It provides strong and far-reaching networks that allow foster visibility and attractiveness of green and circular business models, as well as engagement and commitment among local stakeholders.
  8. Access to finance. Needs-based approach is used to design the access to finance services for green entrepreneurs at ideation, early and growth stages.
  9. Great exposure for your business. Online, easy-to-use web platform increases visibility and exposure for green entrepreneur products and services.
  10. Enabling policies. Facilitate participatory policy-making approaches, as they contribute to the ownership of green business support programmes by national actors increasing quality delivery mechanisms. a single digital gateway to eco-innovation

In alignment with current virtual trends with high internet activities including e-learning opportunities, MedWaves is digitizing all Switchers Support Programme services as a way to increase accessibility through the online platform: 

The platform attracts and supports a wider demographic, thereby increasing the reach and participation of beneficiaries, democratising enrolment and reducing overall training costs and risks.

The Programme is possible through the financial support of the European Union, the Mediterranean Trust Fund of UNEP MAP and the Catalan Government .  The Switchers Support Programme is active in a number of Mediterranean countries, catering to the needs of  the private and public sector actors in  Algeria, Albania, Egypt, Israel, Italy Jordan, Lebanon, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Spain Tunisia, Turkey.

The Switchers Support Programme is also working in China and Latin America, replicating best practices and successful methodologies.

SSP responds to the “Set of Regional Measures to Support the Development of Green and Circular Businesses” that was approved by Contracting Parties during COP22 in December 2021 (Decision IG.25/18). Additionally, SSP offers support for other regional and global policies, such as: the EU Green Deal External Dimension; the New Agenda for the Mediterranean; the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development; UNEP/MAP – Barcelona Convention Mid-Term Strategy; the UfM’s 2030 GreenerMed Agenda; and the 2030 Agenda and several of its SDGs.