Australian SME's experience in transitioning to circular economy

Amrik Sohal, Tharaka De Vass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are becoming increasingly aware of the values of the Circular Economy (CE) as a sustainable alternative to the traditional linear economic model. However, the academic discussion thus far mostly clusters around conceptualisation and idiosyncratic cases challenging to replicate and generalise. Based on 16 case studies of Australian SMEs' success stories, this paper narrates their vision, alignment with 3R concepts, and critical success factors through transitioning to Circular Economy. Leaders' vision of embracing CE, rather than directly seeking financial outcomes, has led to their success. While aligning towards a singular aspect of 3R (reduce, reuse, or recycle), SMEs demonstrate an attempt to blend all 3Rs into their frugal business model. The leadership's passion and finding a practical solution are the essential internal critical factors for SMEs successfully implementing CE. Collaboration is the key external factor, suggesting persuasive public, private, and academic partnerships to address CE challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-604
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Australia
  • Circular economy
  • Critical success factors
  • Small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

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