Building a Resilient Business Around Women: The story of Dagoretti

Published: 28 September 2020Authors: Amanda Panella, Linde Wolters
Violet Matiru grew up without electricity on a farm at the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, an aspect of her life that led her to want to better the environment around her. From using kerosene lamps and lighting a fire every day with firewood for a cup of tea before school, she decided to support herself and her community by launching the Dagoretti Market Biogas Latrine. It has since moved from a core business of converting human waste from paid for latrines for market goers, to biogas to be reused for cooking and heating water, to other environmentally and socially relevant activities.  Read more
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Enterprise Resilience: Six Critical Factors to Protecting Your Start-Up’s Future

Published: 24 September 2020
To better understand what resilience means for MSMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic, SEED interviewed 30 eco-inclusive enterprises. Unsurprisingly, MSMEs have been strongly affected by the economic shock of the pandemic. From these interviews, SEED has outlined the six critical factors for protecting the future of your enterprise. Read more

Making SME support programmes green, fair and recovery proof

Published: 10 September 2020
SMEs make up a significant portion of ASEAN economies and communities. Despite being impacted negatively by the pandemic, they are also key in driving local green and inclusive growth. The new Green Recovery Ecosystem Builder Programme is tailored for participants who lead programmes or departments and are responsible for the successful implementation of enterprise support services. Read more

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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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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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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An Entrepreneur’s Motivation to Move Forward

Published: 17 August 2020Authors: Khawla Rammali, Linde Wolters
Upon reflection, Kenya based Jackline Lang'at feels she may have given up too quickly. The 2016 Award winner was piloting the construction of eco-friendly, durable roads while working with women and youth, when elections hit, cashflow stalled and dedication wavered. Now four years on, Jackline is looking back on her failure but keen to launch a new venture. We caught up with her to learn from her experience, a timely discussion in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and its risk to the survival of many small businesses. Read more
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SEED Award Winner Life Out Of Plastic - L.O.O.P Featured on the World Economic Forum

Authors: Source: World Economic Forum
Through mass beach cleanups and education, L.O.O.P is showing first-hand how plastic pollution is damaging the environment while engaging companies to take action at the source. The video is featured on UpLink a digital platform to crowdsource innovations which address the world’s most pressing problems. Read more
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UN High-Level Political Forum 2020 - Eco-Inclusive Enterprises and COVID-19

Published: 05 August 2020
As momentum builds for post-pandemic recovery, eco-inclusive enterprises around the world offer inspiring examples of inspiring solutions. Learn about their response and vision for a green recovery with Frontier Markets (India), Farmerline (Ghana), Amazóniko (Colombia), Gorilla Conservation Coffee (Uganda), Kibébé (Malawi) and EcoPlastile (Uganda). Read more

Recovering better: Global opportunities to jumpstart the real economy

Published: 31 July 2020
While the coronavirus pandemic presents enormous health and economic challenges, there are also opportunities to jumpstart economies and rebuild societies through green recovery plans that are aligned with the 2030 Agenda. This was the main takeaway of a dialogue that took place at Recovering better: Global opportunities for jumpstarting the real economy #GO4SDGs, a side event at the 2020 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2020). Read more

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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SMEs for an African Green Economy

Published: 14 July 2020
On July 1st, Lewis Akenji, Executive Director of SEED, participated in a webinar that showcased the work that SEED and other organisations are currently doing to build a green, fair future for Africa. The webinar was part of the African Forum on Green Economy series of webinars that ran from April to July 2020. Read more
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Status quo and future outlook: what does COVID-19 mean for BDS providers in India?

Published: 14 July 2020Authors: Amar Munnolimath, Dr. Malini Balakrishnan, Elena Eckhardt
To assess the status quo and future outlook of what COVID-19 means for BDS providers in India, SEED India Hub invited BDS providers to take part in a virtual co-creation session. During the co-creation session that took place on 28th May 2020, BDS providers identified several challenges that both enterprises and BDS providers face due to COVID-19 and prototyped novel solutions addressing persistent challenges. Read more
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Nature's Nectar Limited (Zambia) wins Energy Globe Award

Authors: Energy Globe Award Source: Energy Globe Award
The 2019 SEED Africa Award Finalist is awarded National Winner of the "Energy Globe“ World Award for Sustainability. Read more
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Green Bio Energy Ltd (Uganda) wins Energy Globe Award

Authors: Energy Globe Awards Source: Energy Globe Awards
The 2014 SEED Low Carbon Award Winner awarded National Winner of the "Energy Globe“ World Award for Sustainability. Read more
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Last mile distribution startup Frontier Markets raises $2.25M in Pre-Series A

Authors: Sujata Sangwan Source: Your Story
The 2014 SEED Low Carbon Award winner Jaipur-based last mile rural distribution startup, Frontier Markets, on Monday announced that it has raised $2.25 million in a Pre-Series A funding round. Read more
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Closing The Loop With Climate-Smart Waste Management Solutions: Replicator Workbook

Published: 07 July 2020
Current amounts of waste generation and insufficient waste management affect ecosystems worldwide negatively. Thus, the waste management sector is a promising area for reducing pressure on our natural resources and carbon emissions. Managing waste through strategies such as rethinking products, reducing resource use and recycling materials contribute towards a more circular economy. Climate-smart solutions presented in this workbook transform waste into entirely new materials, such as pavement tiles, alternative house building blocks, or paper made from grass. Get inspired by proven business models around the globe and learn how to create impactful and innovative solutions around waste management for your community. Read more
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Health And Hygiene: Improving Access To Climate-Smart WASH Products: Replicator Workbook

Published: 07 July 2020
Water is one of the main channels through which people, ecosystems and economies will feel climate change impacts. Missing access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) still poses challenges to people worldwide, while unsustainable products and services can have a big negative impact on both human and environmental health. Access to climate-smart WASH products & services leads to healthier lifestyles on personal and community levels while equally promoting environmental action. With eco-friendly yet innovative products, you can decrease vulnerabilities or tap into a growing market of environmentally-conscious customers. Exploit this potential and set up your own eco-inclusive enterprise providing access to climate-smart WASH products & services. Learn from proven business models around the globe and take the first steps towards offering sustainable solutions to your community. Read more
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Climate-Smart Technology Solutions For Households: Replicator Workbook

Published: 07 July 2020
Energy production and consumption are the largest sources of global greenhouse gas emissions. Economic development will increase people’s need for access to reliable and affordable energy further. Smart energy solutions focus on making climate-smart technology available and affordable to households. These solutions have the potential to improve living conditions and strengthens the economic conditions of communities. They come from renewable sources, make use of an off-grid design, or, through their energy efficiency and conservation, avoid and reduce emissions. Innovative energy products improve accessibility to climate-smart technology and provide additional capacity-building in rural areas through technical training. Get inspired by a range of proven business models and learnings on how to set up your own enterprise to create such benefits for households in your community. Read more
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Climate-Smart Innovation In Agricultural Production And Distribution: Replicator Workbook

Published: 07 July 2020
Smallholder and subsistence farmers are likely to suffer from rising temperatures and extreme weather events; while on the other hand, agriculture itself is a relevant driver of impacts on the climate. This shows how crucial it is to develop climate-smart ways of production and distribution in agriculture and which important role eco-inclusive enterprises play in contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Climate-resilient farming methods, sustainable value chains, and innovative products and methods bring innovation to the agricultural sector. Contribute to climate-smart agriculture by replicating an eco-inclusive enterprise providing innovations in production and distribution. Get inspired by various proven business models and take the first steps towards agricultural innovations in your own community! Read more
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Scaling Policy and Financial Instruments for Eco-Inclusive SME Support | SEED South Africa Symposium 2020

Published: 06 July 2020Authors: Camilla Shearman, Maggie Sloan
On 6th May, Mr Tlou Ramaru, Chief Director of Climate Change Adaptation in the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), welcomed enterprises, financial institutions, policy-makers, donors, and business development service providers to a Pitching Session during the online SEED South Africa Symposium 2020. This Pitching Session brought together stakeholders who have been actively designing policy and financial instruments to support the start-up and scale-up of climate-smart and socially inclusive enterprises in South Africa. Read more
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Wildchain: A Non-profit Conservation Innovation Lab | Climate Finance, Thailand 2018

Published: 02 July 2020Authors: Kathrin Kirsch, Marlena Kiefl
Wildchain brings people together to protect our planet’s endangered species and ecosystem by creating shared value between social entertainment and real-world impact. Wildchain lets people digitally adopt and raise some of earth’s rarest species within a digital sanctuary they can call home. Users are passively contributing to conservation and reforestation projects solely by participating in this entertainment ecosystem. Users may also actively allocate where their donations go on a fully transparent kickstarter-like platform which will represent the impact they have created. Read more
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Why SMEs are essential to Uganda’s post-pandemic economic recovery

Published: 18 June 2020Authors: Edirisa Sembatya, Lewis Akenji
The Covid-19 pandemic has jolted national governments the world over to provide emergency support to vulnerable parts of society and the economy. SEED has recently observed that many eco-inclusive MSMEs are pivoting their business models to stay relevant. However, challenges with working capital and the high cost of doing business show a need for a safety net or relief to MSMEs. Read more