Francesca Gennari – Department of Economics and Management, University of Brescia, via S. Faustino 74/b, 25122 Brescia, Italy


7th International Scientific-Business Conference – LIMEN 2021 – Leadership, Innovation, Management and Economics: Integrated Politics of Research – SELECTED PAPERS, Online/virtual, December 16, 2021, published by the Association of Economists and Managers of the Balkans, Belgrade; Printed by: SKRIPTA International, Belgrade, ISBN 978-86-80194-53-0, ISSN 2683-6149, DOI:

Small and medium
enterprises (SMEs);
Circular economy;
Business model;
Transition management



Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contribute significantly to the European GDP and have a pivotal role in the ecological transition from linear to a circular economy (CE). SMEs, however, have more trouble than bigger firms making their business models circular. This article analyses the key factors that SMEs should manage for a strategic transition towards CE. Based on qualitative content analysis on the existing literature about CE in SMEs, we identify governance, relations with stakeholders and innovation as CE key pillars. It is also found that SMEs’ attitude toward them changes during the transition process. The article contributes to filling a gap in the re­search about SMEs’ transition towards circularity and provides a conceptual framework for SMEs’ self-assessment in the transition path.

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