SEED celebrates the success of women entrepreneurs on International Women’s Day
Celebrating International Women's Day, SEED is pleased to showcase the success of some of the many dedicated women entrepreneurs who are working towards a more sustainable future.
Promoting women-led or owned initiatives which instill gender equality and women’s empowerment is an important component of SEED’s work, and below are inspiring examples of some top SEED Award-winning women entrepreneurs and their achievements.
Bernice Dapaah, Executive Director of the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative, 2010 SEED Winner, was selected as a fellow of the inaugural class of the Vital Voices Lead Fellowship Program. Last year she was invited to join the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Biodiversity and Natural Capital which includes relevant leaders from business, government, academia and civil society to address key global issues. She was also selected as a member of the prestigious World Entrepreneurship Forum and United Success having won the 2012 World Business and Development Award in Rio, the winner of the GIZ Impact Business Award 2011 and was the 2nd runner up of the 2012 International Road Federation InAroads Award and a 2012 Dubai International/UN Habitat Best Practice Award. The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative seeks to contribute to lowering Ghana’s dependence on fossil fuel whiles increasing economic activities of rural Ghanaians by breaking the status quo in the development of a bicycle industry, training people with little or no education in the manufacturing of bamboo bikes and spearheading production of stable, reliable and cheaper bikes.
Lorna Rutto, founder of Ecopost and 2010 SEED Award Winner, was recognised today by the Guardian as one of the 25 top African women achievers. Backed by international and national NGOs, this initiative to recycle waste plastic into aesthetic, durable and environmentally friendly fencing posts and consequently reduce plastic litter on streets and open fields offer an alternative fencing material to traditional wood. Through these efforts, EcoPost contributes towards the conservation of forests, employs hundreds of Kenyans and is expected to create 100,000 new positions in the next 15 years. Read the full Guardian article.
Claire Reid Reel Gardening (Pty) Ltd is a start-up business specialising in hand-made vegetable seed strip products created and patented by Claire Reid, the company founder. Not only did the initiative win the 2010 SEED Award, the bronze International Green Award 2011 and the South African Breweries (SAB) Foundation Innovation Award in 2011, Claire Reid Reel Gardening also supports a Student Social Venture at the University of South Africa. Their mission is to improve the quality and performance of African university teams at these global student social business plan competitions, by hosting a practice pitch, and working with them on their business plans and polishing their presentations. With the help of their tutelage, the "Reel Gardening" team won the EMEA regional round of Global Social Venture Competition and was chosen out of 50 other teams at the London regional round of the Hult Prize for the opportunity to present their plans at the Clinton Global Initiative for a chance to win the final round.