START CIRCULAR aims at merging two key topics in Europe: Preparing entrepreneurial graduates to work for and develop sustainable businesses and reinforcing university-SME collaboration in teaching, learning and training to this effect. To create green jobs, therefore Europe has to invest in a regenerative approach which contrasts with the traditional linear economy. According to the European Green Deal, there is a need to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy. Reducing waste and leakage in our current production and consumption and business models conserves resources and helps to reduce environmental pollution. START CIRCULAR is premised on the fact that this transition is dependent on robust higher education systems that generate leaders and entrepreneurs in this field, in collaboration with industry and NGOs. The project specifically responds to the European Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP 2021), the EU’s recent plan for transition to circular economy which highlights the creation of sustainable growth and jobs. It is particularly pertinent at a time when a) European universities have been challenged to cooperate in new and innovative ways and redefine teaching and learning across borders (see the EU Communication on the European Education Area) and b) policy makers are confronted with a health and economic crisis of astronomical scale (COVID 19), which is impacting dramatically how we work, teach, and learn and live. What is evidently clear is that Europe’s economic recovery and eventual growth depends on its ability to generate innovative and sustainable responses to economic challenges. Entrepreneurship and sustainability-focused business models are thus essential. The Commission’s objective is to encourage people to set up and grow their businesses (Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan). At the same time, consumer pressure for sustainable development is increasing, as well as is the interest in reducing the environmental impact of SMEs. Decreasing environmental footprint can also be seen as an important business opportunity for SMEs; however, they are often faced with a limitation in improving their environmental performance, such as size-related obstacles, financial limitations, skill deficits and knowledge constraints. What is more, as the present economic slow-down has been contracted due to the pandemic, policy makers and businesses are under pressure to re- launch economic activity at any cost. This may put at risk the previous advances that have been made in generating green jobs. Generating innovative graduates committed to sustainability in business development is hence critical. While several universities in Europe have demonstrated innovation in entrepreneurial teaching and capacity to teach sustainable and circular business principles, Europe needs more strategic, interdisciplinary, cross-border and applied approaches and resources to tackle these fields, maintaining circular economy in the foreground. An ‘Integrated entrepreneurship management model for circular economy” for universities and SMEs, one of the primary results of this project, will tackle this, as will the training to implement it and the Sustainability Labs, to which all partners share a commitment.