CiLO (circulair leren ondernemen)

Bringing circular enterprise to secondary schools

The Circular Learning Entrepreneurship (CiLO) project aims to stimulate circular entrepreneurship in the second and third grades of Flemish secondary education, for instance through the mini-company or the student company supported by Vlajo.

UHasselt cooperated with Vlajo, Flemish circular companies and four secondary schools in Limburg (Atheneum in Hasselt, Upper School Sint-Michiel in Leopoldsburg, Sint-Augustinusinstituut in Bree and X plus in Lommel) to develop a guiding framework that supports teachers conceptually and substantively to get started with circular entrepreneurship.

Concretely, we first researched the barriers teachers experience in working with the theme of circular entrepreneurship. Then we developed a guiding framework, including training moments for teachers. After a test phase of the educational material in cooperation with four schools, we focused in a final phase on the creation of evaluation tools and the further promotion and dissemination of our material.

Universiteit Hasselt

Partners Vlaamse Jonge Ondernemingen, KSOM vzw Sint-Augustinusinstituut, NNOF, Vzw provincialaat der broeders van liefde (Bovenbouw Sint-Michiel), GO! Next Atheneum (Het Atheneum Hasselt), GO! Mercurius Lommel (X-plus 2e en 3e graad)





  1. Our research gave a clear insight into the barriers teachers experience in introducing circular entrepreneurship in their lessons, the working methods they would like to use and the competences pupils need to develop within the theme.
  2. We developed an educational package with accompanying training for teachers from the second and third grade of secondary education. This package will support them conceptually and substantively to get started with circular entrepreneurship.
  3. We developed a series of practically usable evaluation tools with which teachers can easily measure and evaluate the competences on circular entrepreneurship of their students.
  4. We built a Circular Community: a network of Flemish circular companies that want to engage in educational activities in cooperation with secondary schools.


  1. Overall, and given the limitations imposed by the corona crisis, the CiLO project was more than successful for UHasselt and for Vlajo. The goals we had set for ourselves were all fully achieved.
  2. We have succeeded in letting students do (mini) business 'differently than usual'. Thanks to CiLO, students learn about the problems of our linear economy and are stimulated to do business in an environmentally friendly, social way, which also promotes creative thinking.
  3. It is difficult to keep the Circular Community active after the CiLO project and to develop a network of businesses that want to work with secondary schools on a permanent basis. The main reasons are lack of time and lack of direct benefits for the businesses.
4 Schools
5 Different teaching modules
60 Participants CiLO webinar


The results of our project are lasting in the long term: year after year, our teaching package will again sensitise students and teachers about circular economy. In the future, Vlajo will also continue to stress the importance of circular entrepreneurship. For example, the theme of circular economy is added to the 'stars' that a mini-company can obtain through the Vlajo trajectory.

In addition, the CiLO teaching materials can be further expanded and scaled up. This can be done regionally (for example, by developing lesson packages for Brussels and Wallonia), but also at a higher level, for example by developing a lesson package for higher education.