Project MIca: Women Leading the Circular Economy Movement

28th March 2024

In recent years, Portugal has emerged as a vibrant centre for sustainable innovation and circular economy practices.
At the forefront of this movement are women, driving the charge towards a greener and more equitable future. In this article, we explore the role of women in the circular economy, showcasing their efforts in promoting sustainability, fostering entrepreneurship, and advocating for a more circular and inclusive economy. We also introduce an international cooperation project in which Impact House played a central role - Project MIca, Women in Action for a World Without Waste.

Transitioning to a circular economy entails a fundamental transformation of our economies and societies. By creating employment opportunities and building on sustainable development, embracing the practice of circular economy presents a chance to build a fairer, more inclusive, and collaborative society. This highlights the critical role of women as pioneers of the circular economy, not only as an expression of empowerment but also as examples of inclusion and gender equality in the transition, ensuring that no one is left behind.

Women occupy a particularly vulnerable position in conventional economic practices. In a world marked by frequent natural disasters, male-dominated power structures, and conflicts between newer and more traditional practices, women often find themselves in disadvantaged positions. Drawing from their firsthand experiences, women possess the unique ability to build holistic solutions and reshape narratives to address intersectional needs.

Despite their significant contributions, women remain underrepresented in key domains such as entrepreneurship, innovation, technology, and politics. While men often dominate positions of power and influence, women are disproportionately represented in lower-level roles and the informal sector of the circular economy. Yet, studies consistently demonstrate women's awareness of environmental issues and sustainability, highlighting the urgent need to emancipate them to assume leadership roles and drive transformative change.

Project MICA is all about empowering women in the circular economy, both locally and across Europe. MICA fosters a vibrant network of women entrepreneurs and enthusiasts passionate about the circular economy. Its key activities are capacity-building through training and information dissemination, as well as the promotion of positive role models and success stories. 

A collaborative project between the Portuguese Impact House, a sub-brand of Impact +, and Arrimage Good’iles, an organisation based in Guadalupe, Project MIca represents a significant step towards advancing women in the circular economy through interactive and collaborative approaches. By facilitating knowledge exchange, networking, and enhancing visibility of successful projects, MICA creates a dynamic space where women can share expertise, explore innovative ideas, and embark on entrepreneurial ventures.

The women of MICA are pioneers in the circular economy movement, leading initiatives ranging from zero waste and plastic-free stores to sustainable skincare products, eco-friendly footwear, and ethical fashion brands. Through their collective efforts, they are rewriting the narrative of the circular economy, inspiring change, and paving the way for a more sustainable future.