Green SMEs and their Success Factors for Scale-up and Replication

Published: 31 May 2022Authors: Arab Hoballah, Mirko Zürker, Simon Mühlbauer
This report analyses small and medium-sized enterprises (hereby SMEs) with green business models and explores how selected enterprises scale and replicate their activities. Its main objective is to provide insights into the critical success factors for scaling and replication. It is intended for policymakers and intermediaries to draw direct insights from SMEs. It analyses the critical success factors for scale-up and replication of enterprise activities and highlights concrete recommendations to close existing gaps in order to maximise their contribution to the SDGs. Green SMEs can find inspiration through the case studies in the annex of this report. This report was prepared in collaboration with GO4SDGs. Read more
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Driving Green Recovery Pathways in South and Southeast Asia

Published: 06 May 2022Authors: Amar Munnolimath, Christine Meyer, Jonas Restle-Steinert, Julia Rohe-Frydrych, Mirko Zürker, Net Pornlumon Nirachatsuwan, Supapim Wannopas
The purpose of this Driving Green Recovery Pathways in South and Southeast Asia: Insights from Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Intermediaries report is to showcase the importance of green and social MSMEs to drive Green Recovery and identify the supports that the intermediary and policy could provide. The insights in this report are derived from The Green Recovery Forum: Leveraging the contributions of MSMEs to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more
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From Impact to Scale: Setting the Stage for a Future Eco-Inclusive SME Action Agenda

Published: 28 April 2022Authors: Arab Hoballah, Mirko Zürker, Simon Mühlbauer
In honour of SEED’s 20th anniversary, this report aims to assess 2 decades of SEED’s work and takestock of what has been accomplished. Within 20 years, SEED has supported 2000 enterprises in 41 countries across 3 continents. These enterprises are the champions of the green transition. Working on the ground, they target the most severe impacts of climate change across 6 key sectors: biodiversity, green technologies, clean energy, sustainable agriculture, waste management and water, sanitation and health. Read more

SEED Market Study

Published: 09 February 2022Authors: Elena Eckhardt, Jonas Restle-Steinert
Manifested through the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement, the international community has agreed to tackle prevalent economic, environmental, and social challenges, whereby the private sector and businesses can make a pivotal contribution. This report analyses the international market potential of end-consumer products offered by enterprises from the SEED network from a supply and demand perspective, as well as identifying possible avenues for support.  Read more

SMEs as Key Drivers of Climate Change Adaptation in Southern Africa

Published: 05 January 2022Authors: Luis Ebert
The report expands the still-nascent body of case study-based literature on adaptation entrepreneurship, and is thus suited for academia and practitioners active in this field. It is the first one to identify opportunities for successful adaptation entrepreneurship as well as barriers to growth and scale in the region. Read more

Climate Finance, Fin-techs and the Missing Middle in Thailand | Scoping Paper, Thailand 2021

Published: 16 August 2021Authors: Mirko Zürker, Net Pornlumon Nirachatsuwan
This scoping paper provides the basis for the implementation of the collaborative, multi-step process of the SEED Hack for Climate Finance in Thailand in 2021. Thailand’s high environmental richness and fastly evolving landscape of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) present a significant opportunity for the country to meet its climate action and development objectives. 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 Thailand’s climate action objectives. Read more
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Journeys to Scale

Published: 12 July 2021Authors: Luis Ebert, Mirko Zürker
In this primary edition of a series of reports, we illuminate the black box of eco-inclusive entrepreneurship by providing readers with a first-of-its-kind comprehensive typology on eco-inclusive SMEs. Read more

Eco-Inclusive Enterprises Driving Green Recovery Pathways

Published: 09 July 2021Authors: Benita Rose, Mirko Zürker, Sonya Ong
This snapshot report is intended for national policy makers and shapers; global policy and finance institutions; researchers and civil society networks. Drawing on direct insights from micro, small and medium enterprises as well as eco-system support organisations, it highlights the existing support gaps, concrete examples and new opportunities for catalysing a green, inclusive recovery from COVID-19. Read more

COVID-19 Recovery & Small Enterprises: A SEED-GEC Global Policy Roundtable

Published: 23 March 2021
In January 2021, SEED and the Green Economy Coalition held an online, interactive roundtable gathering small enterprise networks, policy practitioners, NGOs and think tanks to exchange knowledge and share interventions on how to ensure that our Green Recovery efforts are impacting small businesses. Read more

Translating Climate Finance into Climate Action on the Ground: Leveraging the Potential of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

Published: 12 January 2021Authors: Jonas Restle-Steinert, Kathrin Kirsch, Luis Ebert, Maggie Sloan, Tobias Hausotter
Read the report to learn more about how SMEs in emerging economies help their local communities adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change, and how this community engagement paves the way for providing secure livelihoods and a more sustainable future for all.  Read more
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Shop Sustainably with SEED Supported Enterprises

Published: 11 January 2021
To better support small businesses when you're looking for a unique gift for your friend or family member, we encourage you to shop from our gift guide of eco-inclusive SEED supported enterprises! From home decor to handbags, from fair-trade products to face masks, there’s something in it for everyone!  Read more

Shop sustainably this holiday season with SEED: A gift guide from our eco-inclusive enterprises

Published: 03 December 2020
The holidays are approaching and like many others around the world, SEED is searching for a way to send gifts and joy to our loved ones from a safe social distance. 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, Thailand

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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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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Beyond impact: Eco-inclusive enterprises advancing the SDGs

Published: 17 January 2020
Small and growing enterprises are key drivers of development and employment. They account for 50% of the jobs globally, and contribute well over 35% towards the GDP of emerging economies. SEED particularly supports eco-inclusive enterprises; small, micro and medium-sized enterprises operating at the community level. They offer innovative solutions to common social and environmental issues, but also strengthen local economies. But what exactly is their impact? Can we quantify it, and how do we stimulate it?

Have a look at our 2020 SEED Impact Snapshot, a snapshot of the impact of Asia an Africa based eco-inclusive enterprises on the SDGs. 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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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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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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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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