from theory to implementation on the ground
Minga promotes the practice of Circular Economy in Montemor by providing a variety of tools to the local population. It serves as an incubator of local businesses, facilitating that any person can start her own business (alone or associated with other persons), without much costs or bureaucracies, in any field of activity.
It has a local shop, where local farmers, craftsmen and other producers can sell their products, and a distribution system that supplies the local school canteens with vegetables. It has internal currency, promoting the exchange of products and services between members. It has a microfinance mechanism to support projects when they need some leverage. It organizes network events between members so that they create local value-added chains and other forms of collaboration.
Currently, Minga has more than 70 members, its management is professionalized, and it is economically self-sustainable and independent from external fundings.
Distinctive aspects of the case study
This research intends to unveil two main processes that explain how Minga fosters circular economy.
First, it aims to understand how the members of Cooperativa Integral Minga perceive, define and put in practice the principles of circular economy. We will do so capturing the wide variety of mechanisms through which it takes place and the diversity of dimensions it crosses.
Second, it will investigate how Minga members use circular economy principles to design solutions, strategies and internal governance systems to pursue its own mission.
Last but not least, this study aims to assess how public policies (national and regional) could enhance circular economy experiences like Minga, namely in the context of rural and peripheral regions.