Lead of the Circular Finance Initiative

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands

Lead of the Circular Finance Initiative

Job description

At Circle Economy, we believe it is time for a new economic approach: the circular economy. What and how we finance and what we invest in is a crucial factor in scaling the circular transition deep and wide. Our Circular Finance Initiative contributes to acceleration in two ways. By helping investors to steer their investments towards circular solutions by providing metrics, by scanning organisations and their value chains on their current circularity and help them improve. Secondly, we guide individual organizations and coalitions to make solutions financeable. A solution can be great, disruptive and adding to a more equitable and more sustainable business operations but understanding how to design the legal, financial and accounting system require all relevant perspectives to be successful.

Your role in the Circle Economy team

As the Lead of the Circular Finance Initiative, you will be in charge of a programme in the practice of Circle Economy and lead a team of initially two. You will carry out the programme management, drive the strategy, engage with key partners and clients, and represent the programme and the company to external stakeholders. You will oversee programmatic development, business development and fundraising, coordination and administration, project management, line management, staffing and budgeting.

In the short term, you will ensure continuity of programme management and development, assure quality and continuous improvement, acquire and oversee the implementation of projects and design the integration of the programme topic in the organisation’s long-term strategy. This will involve an active external approach to build the community of the Circular Finance Initiative, presenting at external conferences, interacting with high level stakeholders in the field and seeking opportunities for business development.

It will also involve coordination and alignment with key funders of the programme. Internally, you will ensure alignment of the Circle Finance Initiative with the strategic focus of Circle Economy.

In the long term, you will build and sustain the growth and profile of the programme, secure its significance to external stakeholders, monitor its performance and refine its strategy and consolidate relationships with key partners. Reporting to the Director of Businesses, you will work in close collaboration with the other programme leads at Circle Economy, consolidating cross programmatic value and impact.

Who You Are

We are looking for a highly motivated and effective programme lead who can be the powerful force behind a quickly growing programme and the advocate for an extremely relevant topic. You can develop a vision and turn it into reality. You are a business and programme developer, driven by the spirit of collaboration and impact. You strive for innovation while setting the bar high for quality in project execution and delivery. You can forge and develop new collaborations and adopt business acumen and strategic thinking.

On the content level, you have a clear understanding of and affinity with processes and dynamics affecting the financial service sector in the context of environmental sustainability. You have a track record in the financial sector and/or in consulting for this sector.

You are practical, knowledgeable and skillful, and looking for a challenge to make an impact. You are passionate about environmental and social sustainability, and eager to support a team in research, advisory and advocacy work. You want to get your hands dirty to create practical interventions to ensure a positive transition to the circular economy for work and workers.




- Lead the programme’s day-to-day operations, supported by the Director of Businesses.
- Oversee the planning and implementation of the programme and its projects, working across Circle Economy’s teams to ensure stakeholders' requirements are met, including deliverables, within the budget and timelines allocated
- Execute working practices in line with the organisation Project Management Office, legal, administrative and financial controls. Input into the development and agreement of policies and procedures and ensure implementation within the programme
- Manage the programme budget and secure yearly positive results
- In close collaboration with the fundraising manager, report to the donor according to the reporting schedule

Drive the strategic development of the Circular Finance Initiative, realise its health, growth and scale its impact;
- Regularly review programme positioning, services and products, and lead on their development in line with stakeholders' needs, opportunities and contextual relevance
- Oversee the development of the programme’s monitoring and evaluation in collaboration with the Fundraising team
- Initiate, build and maintain strong relationships with partners, institutions and donors, to strengthen the programmatic impact
- Secure funding for the programme’s continuity by creating and delivering proposals for funding organisations.

Contribute to the research and advisory work of the Finance team, both by means of own desk research and by convening professional and academic partners and their knowledge;


- Represent the organisation at high level meetings with stakeholders, relevant conferences, presenting where possible the work of Circle Economy within the Circular Finance Initiative, raising its profile and reputation and the public knowledge of its mission and impact
- Oversee key messaging and language in public information and throughout our Marketing and Communication activities
- Provide strategic audience to the communications strategy of the Initiative to ensure its insights are taken up by key stakeholder groups (private, public and social)
- Ensure key information is disseminated through publishing the work of the programme to its national and international audience.


- Programmatic Management for an initial team of two full-time direct reports, and more project reports.

- Be a good manager, ethically driven, kind and supportive of the staff of whom you are responsible, modelling professionality and competence, while sustaining a healthy, respectful and trustworthy environment and promoting a good work/life balance.
- Nurture team working and shared ownership of an ambitions portfolio of projects
- Agree responsibilities and objectives of the team members and support the alignment and development of their role within Circle Economy to maximise efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation’s human resources
- Agree yearly individual and programme KPIs
- Carry out bi-yearly performance reviews
- Align individual professional development plans with company objectives
- Ensure competencies and skills within the teams are in line with the programmatic goals
- Prioritise work plans and advise/mentor/coach team members as required
- Work in collaboration with the HR and Operations Director towards the resolution of any risks or issues encountered by the employees in their working life



- You have 7+ years of experience and a proven track record in the financial sector, in programme design, programme development, stakeholder engagement, research, advocacy and project management
- You have a proven track record in the coordination of project teams, people and team management
- You have meaningful experience with and/or of the financial sector
- You have a proven track record in strategy development, business development, relationship management and project delivery
- Demonstrated public speaking skills, in international contexts
- You are confident and experienced in delivering and overseeing qualitative and quantitative research
- You are comfortable with building upon relationships with existing partners and stakeholders, involving them in the development of the programme, as well as identifying and building relationships with new partners to envision, design and scale up and expand the usage of different tools and offerings being developed by the programme
- You are knowledgeable and have an active interest in sustainability and the circular economy and would love to contribute your skills and knowledge to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable future.
- You have a hands-on mentality; the success of this programme lies in its impact.


Strong preference will be given to candidates with:

- an established broad network of key stakeholders and individuals and acquired insights into key issues impacting financing and investing in the circular economy
- experience in business development, service design and delivery in corporate environment
- You have written and spoken communication skills in both Dutch and English


We are a team of 45+ driven and ambitious professionals, coming from diverse backgrounds and from more than 20 different countries, sharing the belief that the circular economy creates prosperity for all. We work in a lively and dynamic atmosphere in our open office space right in the heart of Amsterdam. At Circle Economy, we have a culture of getting things done while having fun, and apart from friendly and open team dynamics, you can expect a drink in your hand every other Friday by 4pm.


As a team we have guiding principles that define our mindsets and are inherent in the way we work each day, especially in the way we treat each other and others. Our values are a compass to guide our culture internally and shape our impact externally, they further our greater mission and don’t impose ideology but enable ideas.

- Focus on Impact - Time is short, boundaries set, efforts need to be focused, brave and relentless. We are actively at work to make a positive difference, bringing benefit to others, doing good and doing it well, each one of us in their own function
- Resources Consciousness - The potential of our people is unlimited, but resources should be safeguarded. We make the most of others’ time, money, energy and spirit, with efficiency and effectiveness, without abusing these valuable resources

Diversity - We need it, to pursue a world of richness, where potential can be expressed to its fullest, and in complete fairness, by all. We embrace diversity, with openness, fairness, and the enthusiasm of knowing that diversity is where jewels hide
- Safety - collaborating where vulnerability, mistakes, and even tough confrontation, are openly accepted and embraced, without compromising safe relationships, safe boundaries and a safe job
- Collaboration - Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success: we want to be there for others, in good and bad times, working together, hand in hand, beyond role and bias, to get the work done
- Recognition - Sometimes we have to recognise great successes, other times great efforts followed by great failures. Recognition helps us move up the line from good intentions to good results.
- Support - Relationships, when created on the basis of respect and trust, allow us to thrive. When we are encouraged and our actions championed by another, this kind of support ensures choices and decisions are made without consequences as a condition. We foster an environment of encouragement and a trusting place to return to in more difficult moments.


For this role, we are offering an initial 1-year contract for 32 to 40 hours per week. We offer an awesome challenge for a passionate person that loves to learn continuously and take up responsibilities in a vibrant and talented team. Salary is competitive, keeping in mind we are a non-­profit, start­up organisation, based in Amsterdam.

For inquiries about the position you can send an email to HR@circle-economy.com. To apply please respond via our website circle-economy.com. Please include a salary requirement to your application. Applications will be closed on Friday April 16.