SEED participates at the World Investment Forum 2023
SEED was represented by the Executive Director, Arab Hoballah, during the World Investment Forum
Investment, Trade and Enterprise in the Circular Economy
On the 18th of October the panel composed of entrepreneurs from India, UAE, Uganda and Ethiopia, as well as representatives of businesses from Malaysia, UK and Switzerland discussed the role of investment, trade and enterprise in the Circular Economy with over 150 people in attendance.
The session was built around showcasing successful examples of circularity, as well as policy initiatives that have succeeded in catalysing circular business models alongside a discussion of the ways for businesses to adapt to the circular economy mindset and to overcome challenges on this way.
Arab Hoballah, the Executive Director of SEED introduced the concept of circular economy and revealed that it could be a valuable instrument in addressing some of the leading root causes of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Furthermore, the 20 years of SEED experience were shared, demonstrating that it makes economic, social and environmental sense to support and enable innovative small and medium businesses (SMEs), highlighting the need for scaling through a collective action catalyst, such as the proposed Coalition for Innovation, Circularity and Entrepreneurship.
By rethinking how we produce, consume and manage materials, and by redesigning systems of production and consumption, pressures on critical ecosystems can be reduced. With SMEs active at all these steps, with their local innovations in response to local problems, their role is critical in the transition to circularity.
Agrifood systems and entrepreneurship
The second session was dedicated to the relevant topic of Agrifood systems and entrepreneurship. It featured entrepreneurs from Argentina, Philippines, Nigeria and UK, all being also well versed in funding processes, and representative from FAO.
The session was focused on taking a look at innovative practices in agriculture and how collaborative frameworks between farmers, agrifood businesses and technology firms cab be strengthened. The panel also established that the role of governments is crucial to empower farmers and agrifood SMEs.
Arab Hoballah was able to share the outcomes of the SEED-FAO project, the SDG Agrifood Accelerator Programme, highlighting how the agrifood entrepreneurs can leverage eco-inclusive approaches to contribute to a circular economy, as well as the role of governments to provide relevant incentive and enabling framework.
Agriculture today is undergoing a profound transformation, driven by climate change, technological innovation and urbanization. This directly affects smallholder farmers, agribusinesses and consumers. The intersections between farming, agrifood businesses and technology firms are increasingly providing new entrepreneurial opportunities and the potential for new business activities that will shape the future of agrifood systems and that can have real impact on food security and rural development.