Mapping Enterprise Resilience to COVID-19

Published: 07 September 2020Authors: Elena Eckhardt, Linde Wolters, Mirko Zürker, Supapim Wannopas
Resilience is an indispensable tool to help MSMEs prepare for the unknown, especially now when COVID-19 induced curfews and lockdowns expose MSMEs to new vulnerabilities. With fewer resources and access to information than larger companies, MSMEs in emerging markets have experienced severe disruptions to their businesses, with around 42% worldwide facing potential failure within six months.

This report demonstrates how MSMEs, particularly eco-inclusive enterprises, are weathering the COVID-19 pandemic and how governments and intermediaries can lend support. In this report we outline six essential resilience factors and good practices that SEED’s eco-inclusive enterprises have employed in emerging markets. Our SEED enterprises serve as an excellent example of how other enterprises can incorporate resilience into their business models in the face of the pandemic and to become more adaptable for future shocks. Read more

Eco-Inclusive Enterprises: Accelerating Southern Africa’s Green and Inclusive Economies

Published: 02 September 2020
Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) provide 50% of jobs, contribute to over 35% of the GDP in emerging economies, and overall make up 90% of registered firms across the world. They are especially impactful in emerging economies as they work toward inclusive growth and equality for marginalised populations. At SEED, we focus on growing eco-inclusive enterprises which in turn contribute socially, economically, and environmentally to empowering the 5.2 billion people at the bottom of the pyramid worldwide.

This report examines the yearly impact of 80 of our eco-inclusive enterprises in three of our SEED countries: Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. These locally embedded enterprises, 51% of which are women-led, demonstrate that driving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can indeed be profitable and with a success rate of 82.5% still in business, they show long-lasting impact in each of their communities and sectors. Read more
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Leveraging the contributions of MSMEs to green growth and the circular economy in Ghana | Policy Landscape Paper

Published: 01 September 2020Authors: Camilla Shearman, Doris Awortwi-Tandoh, Julia Haack, Kodjo Barnor, Letitia Varney, Linde Wolters, Thomas Wiredu
The policy context as it relates to MSMEs in Ghana is in a state of transformation. With a new MSME Policy on the horizon that seeks to align and coordinate efforts to support this stakeholder group, it is an opportune moment to look at the social and environmental contributions of MSMEs to Ghana’s development priorities, and how policy solutions can leverage these contributions. Furthermore, as MSME activities in specific sectors – for example in the waste management sector – receive increasing attention, there is opportunity for a coordinated effort to address challenges.

By bringing together different perspectives and experiences, the SEED Practitioner Labs for Policy Prototyping provides an opportunity to build partnerships and holistic solutions. Read more
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MSMEs: Drivers of Green and Inclusive Economies in Thailand | Policy Landscape Paper

Published: 01 September 2020Authors: Linde Wolters, Panramon Mahasuwan, Sonya Ong, Supapim Wannopas
As a leader in the ASEAN region, Thailand’s policy frameworks are well aligned with ASEAN initiatives, UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement. Various stakeholders including those in the MSME ecosystem are working towards achieving the Thailand 4.0 industrial policy, a long-term vision to transition the country into an innovation-based economy, with a focus on technology, creativity and services. This policy landscape paper provides a brief overview of the social and environmental impact entrepreneurial ecosystem in Thailand. It serves as the background for the Practitioner Labs for Policy Prototyping hosted by SEED with UNDP Thailand as strategic partner. Read more
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Eco-Inclusive Enterprises: Forerunners in Advancing the SDGs | SEED SDG Impact Snapshot

Published: 15 July 2020Authors: Linde Wolters, Mirko Zürker, Net Pornlumon Nirachatsuwan
As governments respond to the wide-ranging problems resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, it’s worth thinking about how we may take this opportunity to shift towards a green economy. Because the way we recover from this crisis will impact our fight against climate change and our progress towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

A green recovery calls for investments in solutions that provide social, environmental and economic benefits to people, especially those in vulnerable and marginalised communities. SEED-supported eco-inclusive enterprises and other Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) already promote green-technologies while including low-income people in their value chain.

The SEED Impact Snapshot helps to reveal the versatility of the impact of eco-inclusive enterprises. It also helps to clarify where there is the biggest potential for their SDG contributions and how policymakers may help unlock that potential further. Read more
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Filling the Missing Middle Financing Gap | Scoping Paper, India 2020

Published: 16 June 2020Authors: Kathrin Kirsch, Marlena Kiefl
This scoping paper provides the basis for the implementation of the collaborative, multi-step process of the SEED Practitioner Labs Climate Finance in India in 2020. India’s vibrant landscape of MSMEs presents an opportunity for diversified socio-economic growth. In light of climate change, climate-smart enterprises – offering products and services for climate change adaptation and/or mitigation – are well-positioned to absorb global climate finance flows to create environmental, social and economic impacts in line with India’s climate action objectives. However, climate-smart MSMEs cannot fulfill their full potential as they lack appropriate access to finance to grow and scale their operations resulting in a missing-middle-financing gap. Read more
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Filling the Missing Middle Financing Gap | Scoping Paper, Indonesia 2020

Published: 08 May 2020Authors: Maggie Sloan, Net Pornlumon Nirachatsuwan
This scoping paper provides the basis for the implementation of the collaborative, multi-step process of the SEED Practitioner Labs Climate Finance in Indonesia in 2020. Indonesia’s richness in biodiversity and vibrant landscape of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) present a significant opportunity for the country to meet its development objectives while reducing its climate impacts and improving climate resilience across sectors. In particular, climate-smart SMEs – offering products and services for climate change adaptation and/or mitigation – are well positioned to absorb and scale the environmental, social and economic impacts of global climate finance flows in line with Indonesia’s climate action objectives. Read more
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Modest in Size, Potentially Huge in Impact: Leveraging Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) for Climate Action

Published: 23 December 2019Authors: Jonas Restle-Steinert, Kathrin Kirsch, Linde Wolters, Maggie Sloan, Rainer Agster, Tobias Hausotter
Despite the goals put forward in the Paris Agreement and commitments by countries in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is rising (WMO 2019). It is, therefore, more important than ever for countries to step up their ambition and NDC commitments in 2020. The COP25 climate negotiations will pave the way for the next year and the NDC update processes. These open up the opportunity to acknowledge a modest yet potentially impactful group of players for ambitious climate action: small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Read more
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Three policy recommendations for building robust climate change adaptation markets in South Africa

Published: 28 October 2019Authors: Camilla Shearman, Christine Meyer, Sonya Ong
With lessons drawn from an 8-month policy prototyping labs cycle in South Africa and over fifteen years of enterprise support, this policy brief presents three recommendations for policymakers to improve SMME access and contribution to climate change adaptation markets. These recommendations include (1) increasing availability of and access to market information, (2) creating support pipelines between public and private stakeholders, and (3) leveraging intermediaries as key contributors to the implementation and evaluation of market access policies. Read more
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Leveraging eco-inclusive entrepreneurship for localised development solutions

Published: 21 October 2019Authors: Camilla Shearman, Christine Meyer, Maggie Sloan, Marlena Kiefl
In a global context of commitments to sustainable development and the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, Malawi has set out ambitious agendas to increase resilience to climate change and move towards a green and inclusive economy. Translating these ambitious agendas into impact at the community level requires concerted efforts in the decentralisation of policy initiatives and capacity building of local actors. SMMEs play a key role in aligning local markets to national development goals, and can have a transformational impact on the achievement of these goals. Drawing on discussions from the SEED policy dialogue and labs process in Malawi, this policy brief presents recommendations to policy makers for leveraging the potential of SMMEs to transform the agriculture, waste, and clean energy sectors in Malawi, and across Southern Africa. Read more
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Policy pathways for eco-inclusive enterprise support in Malawi | Policy Landscape Paper

Published: 01 April 2019Authors: Benita Rose, Christine Meyer
The transition to a green, inclusive, and climate-smart Malawi requires collaborative efforts from the public sector, civil society, and the private sector. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are important drivers of growth in Malawi, particularly in emerging economies, andmaking cross-sector partnerships are critical to co-creatinge an enabling environment for enterprises with inclusive and climate-smart business models.

This input paper provides a snapshot of the ecosystem in which eco-inclusive small and growing enterprises operate. By identifying areas where further support is needed, this paper serves as an input to the SEED Policy Prototyping Programme, in which stakeholders across sectors collaborate to co-create policy instruments designed to build a more enabling ecosystem for eco-inclusive entrepreneurs. Read more
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Policy pathways for eco-inclusive enterprise support in South Africa | Policy Landscape Paper

Published: 01 April 2019Authors: Camilla Shearman, Christine Meyer, Maggie Sloan
The transition to a green, inclusive, and climate-smart South Africa requires collaborative efforts from the public sector, civil society, and private sector. As small and growing enterprises are an essential driver of growth, particularly in emerging economies, cross-sector partnerships to co-create an enabling environment for enterprises with inclusive and climate-smart business models are critical.

This policy landscape paper provides a snapshot of the ecosystem in which eco-inclusive, climate-smart small and growing enterprises operate. By identifying areas where further support is needed, this paper is connected to the SEED Policy Prototyping Programme, in which stakeholders across sectors collaborate to co-create policy instruments designed to build a more enabling ecosystem for eco-inclusive entrepreneurs. Read more
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A Year at SEED | 2018

Published: 31 January 2019
Our annual visual report (A Year at SEED | 2018) celebrates achievements across both our Direct Enterprise Support and Ecosystem Building programmes plus shares our involvement in key high-level dialogues and milestones in organisational development, while introducing you to this year's SEED Low Carbon Award Winners who offer innovative solutions for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Read more
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SEED Practitioner Labs Climate Finance | Thailand 2018

Published: 18 December 2018
The 2018 SEED Practitioner Labs Climate Finance series in India, Thailand and Uganda brought together around 200 leading practitioners to jointly prototype tangible solutions to major climate finance challenges. This report summarises the innovative climate finance products developed as part of the SEED Labs process in Thailand in primary partnership with Global Mangrove Trust with KX, Last of Ours with KX, South Pole and RCC UNFCC/IGES with UNDP. Read more
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SEED Practitioner Labs Climate Finance | Uganda 2018

Published: 18 December 2018
The 2018 SEED Practitioner Labs Climate Finance series in India, Thailand and Uganda brought together around 200 leading practitioners to jointly prototype tangible solutions to major climate finance challenges. This report summarises the innovative climate finance products developed as part of the SEED Labs process in Uganda in primary partnership with Swisscontact, UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre – Kampala, and FSD Uganda with UK Aid. Read more
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SEED Practitioner Labs Climate Finance | India 2018

Published: 18 December 2018
The 2018 SEED Practitioner Labs Climate Finance series in India, Thailand and Uganda brought together around 200 leading practitioners to jointly prototype tangible solutions to major climate finance challenges. This report summarises the innovative climate finance products developed as part of the SEED Labs process in India in primary partnership with TARA with Grameen Capital, New Ventures and GIZ with VNV Advisory. Read more
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Longitudinal Study of Eco-Inclusive Enterprise Performance (Part II)

Published: 12 September 2018Authors: Ben Akoh, Heather Creech, Leslie Paas
This report draws insights from a three-year longitudinal study of the performance of social and environmental micro enterprises and tackles two important questions. Firstly, whether and how micro and small social and environmental enterprises make contributions to social, environmental and economic progress within their communities; and secondly, what the enabling factors and barriers towards making such contributions are. Read more
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Sustainable Future of Agro-Processing: Policy Pathways for Eco-Inclusive Enterprises in South Africa

Published: 01 June 2018Authors: Christine Meyer, Janet Mkhabela, Maggie Sloan
Innovation of the agro-processing sector has been identified – and supported through policy measures and funding initiatives – as central to the low carbon, inclusive economic transition in South Africa. Small and medium-sized eco-inclusive enterprises in the sector play a pivotal role in mitigating the impacts of climate change and tackling poverty and social inequalities. Read more
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White Paper on Toolification for Next Generation of Business Development Support

Published: 19 April 2018Authors: Benita Rose, Carolin Ehrensperger, Mirko Zürker, Rainer Agster, Sandra Seyfried
This White Paper shares our lessons learned from 15 years of experience in providing non-financial support to eco-inclusive enterprises. It shall offer inspiration as well as guidance to critically reassess the way we do non-financial support and how we can improve impacts. The findings and conclusions expressed in this paper are based on research and expert discussions at the SEED Africa Symposium 2016, a survey of BDS providers in the SEED network, interviews and discussions with BDS providers and SEED Winners. Read more

From Waste to Resource: Policy Pathways for Eco-Inclusive Waste Enterprises in South Africa

Published: 08 March 2018Authors: Christine Meyer, Janet Mkhabela, Maggie Sloan
This sectoral policy brief provides an short overview to policy-makers and practitioners of the common challenges faced by eco-inclusive enterprises in this strategic sector in South Africa. The brief is designed to guide policy-makers and practitioners in the prototyping and implementation of measures to ensure the success and scaling-up of eco-inclusive enterprises in South Africa. Read more
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SEED Annual Report 2016

Published: 28 July 2017Authors: Arab Hoballah, Christine Meyer, Jona Liebl, Kay Eunkyung Kang, Marion Müller vom Berge, Sonya Ong
This Annual Report guides you through the innovative ways that SEED has advanced in 2016 to serve as an active thought leader in the realm of eco-inclusive entrepreneurship for sustainable development, while also introducing to you this year’s SEED Winners that are all individually driving sustainable development forward in their communities and in their countries. Read more
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The Landscape of Eco-inclusive Entrepreneurship in Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

Published: 01 March 2017Authors: Gabrielle Habberton, Mandisa Banjwa, Monique Davidson
One of the SEED focus areas for 2016 includes eco-inclusive entrepreneurship in Malawi, Mozambique, and Namibia. Eco-inclusive entrepreneurship is an important market-based solution for economies transitioning to sustainable growth trajectories while providing essential services for the marginalised populations of these emerging economies. This report is part of an effort to support the sector through improved research, building the track record for eco-inclusive enterprises and highlighting their ‘triple bottom line’ impact and contribution towards green growth. Read more
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White Paper on Collaboration for Impact through Replication Support Services

Published: 16 November 2016Authors: Christine Meyer, Jan Dumkow, Lina Frank, Mirko Zürker
This White Paper offers inspiration as well as guidance towards initiating collaboration between different actors offering replication support services for eco-inclusive enterprises. The findings and conclusions expressed in this paper are based on research and expert discussions at the SEED Africa Symposium 2016. This is the first white paper of a new SEED White Paper Series. Read more

Driving Conservation Through Sustainable Tourism Enterprises: A Sectoral Business Condition Brief

Published: 01 September 2016Authors: Dr. Christina Tewes-Gradl, Mariska van Gaalen
To protect biodiversity, we need to create alternative economic opportunities for the people who depend on the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems. Biodiversity is the foundation of human well-being and prosperity. At the same time, human activities are its greatest threat. In particular, biodiversity hotspots like savannahs, forests and coral reefs are under pressure due to unsustainable tourism development and the livelihood needs of low-income communities. Read more
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Scaling Innovation at the Energy-Agriculture Nexus in East Africa: A Sectoral Business Condition Brief

Published: 01 September 2016Authors: Allison Robertshaw, Amélie Heuër, Christian Pirzer, Christine Meyer, Dr. Christina Tewes-Gradl, Jona Liebl
Energy and agriculture form a nexus. On one hand, energy can be generated by using crops, agricultural residues, and livestock waste. On the other hand, substantial amounts of energy are required along the agricultural and food processing value chain, accounting for around 30 % of the global energy consumption. Read more
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