Sustainable Development Goals

Social and environmental entrepreneurship supports poverty eradication and sustainable economic development. Although significant progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goals has been made, further support is needed to enable these enterprises to more effectively and efficiently deliver their products and services for our joint achievement of SDGs by 2030.

Social Enterprise in Latin America - A frontier market on the cusp of going mainstream

Published: 24 February 2016Authors: Allison Robertshaw
Last week I had the pleasure of attending New Ventures’ Foro Latinoamericano de Inversion Impacto in Merida, Mexico.  It was an inspiring few days unpicking the latest developments in social entrepreneurship in the region and proved an interesting opportunity to compare to recent developments in Africa where I attended SEED’s African Symposium just a few months ago.  Read more

Launch of the SAG-SEED Starter Months in South Africa

Published: 09 February 2016
The Switch Africa Green-SEED Starter Months invite entries from teams who develop green and inclusive business solutions to one of the key social and environmental challenges in South Africa. Read more

Changing the paradigm of childcare and income generation in Nairobi’s slums

Published: 04 February 2016Authors: Marion Müller vom Berge
Every child in the world has the right to access high-quality early childhood care and education, and every woman deserves the opportunity to participate in the workforce and generate income, free of concern that their child may not be cared for properly. Read more

Replicating Eco-Inclusive Business Models: A Contribution to Sustainable Low-Carbon Economies

Published: 01 February 2016Authors: Akash Uba, Dr. Christina Tewes-Gradl, Mariska van Gaalen, Tendai Pasipanodya
In the face of climate change, we urgently need to find pathways to a low-carbon economy. Only then can we improve the well-being of nine billion people by 2030 and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Developing countries have to leap-frog to a low-carbon economy while continuing to improve well-being. Innovative eco-inclusive enterprises are already implementing low-carbon solutions while also providing social and economic benefits to those who need them most. This study shows how the replication of eco-inclusive entrepreneurial solutions tackles the double challenge of mitigating climate change and improving well-being, therefore arguing that they should be strategically incorporated in global and national plans for achieving a low-carbon economy. Read more

Financing for the ‘Missing Middle’ in South Africa

Published: 12 January 2016Authors: Jana Rudnik, Mirko Zürker
Financing! 20k-200k USD is needed for the ‘missing middle’ is one of ten critical aspects that SEED emphasises as crucial for the growth of SMMEs. Read more

The role of finance in addressing climate change—but where is the conversation around SME’s?

Published: 07 December 2015Authors: Allison Robertshaw
It would be an understatement to say that finance is one of the big issues being discussed at COP21.  I’ve managed to pop into a number of side events on the topic and it comes up in even the most casual of conversations. Read more

The climate negotiations in Paris - What does it mean for the green SME community?

Published: 25 November 2015Authors: Allison Robertshaw
In just five days, politicians, policy makers, NGOs, businesses, entrepreneurs and activists will head to Paris, for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP), to see whether the world can hammer together an agreement to move the world away from catastrophic climate change before time runs out. Will they be successful? Read more

SEED Africa Symposium 2015

Published: 09 November 2015
More than 500 entrepreneurs, researchers, policy makers and representatives of the civil society from 30 countries joined the SEED Africa Symposium on September 9-10th, 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya. Read more

Shaping Sustainable Development Policies to Scale the Impacts of Eco-entrepreneurship

Published: 20 October 2015Authors: Amélie Heuër
A few weeks ago I was in Nairobi where we (SEED) held our annual SEED Africa Symposium. The event was the biggest one yet, with over 500 representatives from government agencies, the private sector, civil society organisations and academic institutions from 34 countries; all gathering to build bridges for impact. Read more

SEED Africa Symposium 2015: Building Bridges for Impact

Published: 19 October 2015
Building Bridges for Impact was the goal of the 2015 Africa Symposium. More than 500 entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors, practitioners and policy makers examined emerging trends in the green and entrepreneurship space and looked into ways of constructing new bridges to amplify the impact of social and eco-enterprises. Special attention was also given to the role of eco-entrepreneurship in the Post-2015 agenda. Read more

Boosting support for social and environmental entrepreneurship in Namibia

Published: 15 October 2015Authors: Julia Rohe-Frydrych
Small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) contribute an estimated 12 per cent towards Namibia’s gross domestic product and employ about 20 per cent of the country’s workforce. Read more

Setting the Stage for Green & Inclusive Growth through Entrepreneurship

Published: 02 October 2015Authors: Carolin Ehrensperger, Jana Rudnik
"Where many conventional start-up enterprises fail after only two years, more than three out of four SEED Winners have not, that is the major outcome of this flagship report“, Ibrahim Thiaw, UNEP Deputy Executive Director and UN Assistant-Secretary-General. Read more

Celebrating 10 Years of SEED Awards (2005-2015)

Published: 22 September 2015
Ten years ago, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in New York, 5 enterprises received the first SEED Awards. They were chosen, from a pool of over 260 entries from 66 countries, for their potential to advance sustainable development in their communities and contribute to the UN's Millennium Development Goals. Read more

Case Study: Claire Reid Reel Gardening

Published: 07 September 2015
Reel Gardening addresses food insecurity among low-income household and children by offering bio-degradable paper strips embedded with organic seeds that can be used by all to produce a wide range vegetables and herbs. Read more

Case Study: Muliru Farmers

Published: 07 September 2015
Muliru Farmers establishes sustainably-farmed supplies of medicinal plants and raises awareness about forest management which reduces the pressure on Kenya’s last remaining rainforest. Read more

Case Study: Dichung

Published: 07 September 2015
Dichung reduces urban traffic congestion, fuel consumption and in turn GHG emissions by providing ride-sharing opportunities for city residents. Read more

Case Study: Muthi Futhi

Published: 07 September 2015
Muthi Futhi protects local biodiversity by cultivating and processing endangered indigenous medicinal plants.  Read more

Enterprise Brief: Alternative Energy Source for Heating

Published: 06 September 2015
Alternative Energy Source for Heating provides briquettes made from rice husks as an energy source for both urban and rural households. Families are consequently less dependent on charcoal or fuelwood, and deforestation and air pollution are reduced. The initiative also promotes youth entrepreneurship. Read more

Enterprise Brief: Masole Ammele

Published: 06 September 2015
Masole Ammele breeds and grows fish through permaculture techniques in ponds managed by local communities. Each village responsible for a pond receives training on organic fish breeding and generates income from selling the fish, while the enterprise earns a commission. Read more

Enterprise Brief: P.E.A.C.E. - Thinana Recycling Cooperative

Published: 06 September 2015
P.E.A.C.E. - Thinana Recycling Cooperative engages with local communities in the implementation of a waste recycling network in Senwabarwana, Limpopo Province. The enterprise trains waste collectors and has established a purchasing scheme and collection point network for waste collected in the semi-urban community and its rural environment. Read more

Shaping Sustainable Development through Eco-entrepreneurship

Published: 01 September 2015Authors: Amélie Heuër, Bart Slob, Helena Posthumus, Rainer Agster, Roger Bymolt
Small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) that pursue a triple bottom line approach offer one concrete means of achieving this shift to a Green Economy. This report highlights grassroots eco-enterprises, the types of impact they are achieving and the challenges and opportunities they face. Read more

Growing Green and Inclusive Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development in South Africa

Published: 01 September 2015Authors: Amélie Heuër, Dr. Mira Slavova, Rainer Agster
SEED has worked closely with the Gordon Institute for Business Science in 2015 on a study that integrates for policy-makers the findings of five case studies in South Africa. As concerns with accomplishing SDG goals have become inextricably lodged within social and policy debates, scholars studying SMMEs have developed understandings of enterprises embedded within complex institutional environments. The current study has looked how SEED Winners in South Africa progress in achieving their triple bottom line objectives, taking into account challenges they encounter along the way, and success factors that have enabled them to move forward. Read more

The next challenge for impact investing: Scaling up support to early stage social enterprises

Published: 13 August 2015Authors: Bertil van Vugt, Mirko Zürker
The growth and success of green and inclusive business models with high impact potential is central to the challenges many emerging economies are facing. Read more

Water for Life – innovative and entrepreneurial ways of storing water in semi-arid regions of Brazil

Published: 30 July 2015Authors: Carolin Ehrensperger, Daniele Cesano, Thais Corral
Access to water is not only about meeting basic human needs; it is critical to sustainable development, too. Read more

SEED South Africa Symposium 2015

Published: 30 July 2015
On May 27th the SEED South Africa Symposium 2015 was held in Johannesburg in cooperation with the 3-day International Conference hosted by the University of South Africa on “Innovation for Sustainability under Climate Change and Green Growth/Economy”. Read more