Youth Entrepreneurship

SEED-supported eco-inclusive enterprises incorporate youth into their value chains and actively promote youth entrepreneurship through their business models, products and services.

Enterprise Brief: People of the Sun

Published: 06 July 2015
People of the Sun offers unique handmade homeware products created from recycled and local, natural materials by marginalised artisans in Malawi. Artisans are organized in six enterprises, and profits from sales are reinvested in the organisation to ensure growth and support to artisans. Read more

Enterprise Brief: RECAPO CBO

Published: 06 July 2015
RECAPO CBO offers clean, renewable and affordable energy to residents in rural Malawi, where over 90% of the population has no access to grid electricity. Its affordable Pay-As-You-Go model allows low-income households to exchange expensive and polluting lighting and electrical systems for solar solutions. Read more

Enterprise Brief: Terra Nova Waste to Farming

Published: 06 July 2015
Terra Nova Waste to Farming employs individuals in vulnerable conditions to produce natural fertiliser out of organic urban waste. The compost reduces the amount of urban solid waste at local dumps and improves soil fertility and crop yields in the region. Read more

Enterprise Brief: The Moringa Cooperative

Published: 06 July 2015
The Moringa Cooperative is primarily focused on donating, planting, and cultivating Moringa oleifera (Moringa), and other beneficial plants, in cooperation with rural Eco-Schools in Limpopo Province. The enterprise promotes food security and improved nutrition, provides employment for disadvantaged women and youth, and contributes to local industry through enterprise development. Read more

Enterprise Brief: Village Energy

Published: 06 July 2015
Village Energy is building a rural renewable energy technician network to service and sell solar systems. It recruits and trains technicians as franchisee entrepreneurs directly at the village level, providing vocational training, business set-up support, branded marketing, and spare part and product inventory. Read more

Sands of time

Published: 30 June 2015Authors: Helen Marquard
Today, the 30th June, is a significant date: it is exactly 8 years since I left the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to join the SEED Initiative, and it now marks a transition from my role as Executive Director of SEED, to Chairman. Read more

Increasing the impact of social enterprises in developing and emerging economies

Published: 25 June 2015Authors: Aline Margaux Wachner, Lisa M. Hanley, Tim Weiss
A recent large-scale survey published by Zeppelin University and Siemens Stiftung generally support the idea that social enterprises can have a positive impact on poverty reduction. However, it also reveals some caveats, which have led us to derive concrete recommendations for action. Read more

Greening South Africa’s economy: improved business development support for social and environmental enterprises

Published: 06 May 2015Authors: Julia Rohe-Frydrych, Rest Kanju
According to World Bank, South Africa ranks as an upper-middle income economy, representing the second-largest economy in Africa. While disposing of an abundant supply of natural resources and a modern infrastructure, unemployment, poverty, and inequality remain a challenge. Read more

Preparing women entrepreneurs for tomorrow’s reality

Published: 08 March 2015Authors: Anna Fälth
In October 2014, UN Women Executive Director proposed 2030 to be the expiry date for gender inequality (UN Women). How can we make this bold goal a reality? Where do we start? Let’s start by envisioning the world in 2030. Read more

SEED Awards 2015 - Apply by 31 March 2015!

Published: 06 February 2015
In 2015 SEED will make available up to 31 SEED Awards, for which SEED has received support from the European Union, the Government of Flanders, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the international law firm Hogan Lovells. Additional support is provided by the Government of the Netherlands and other SEED Partners. Read more

Promoting entrepreneurship for sustainable development: why, and how?

Published: 23 October 2014Authors: Helen Marquard
When UNEP, UNDP and IUCN decided to register the SEED Initiative as a Type II partnership at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, they clearly thought they were on to something – but possibly not quite what SEED is now. Read more

Creating an enabling environment for social and environmental entrepreneurship in Malawi

Published: 29 September 2014Authors: Mirko Zürker, Rainer Agster
As one of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi is characterised by a largely rural population; 84 per cent of Malawi’s population lives outside cities and depends on agriculture as their primary source of income. Read more

Enterprise Brief: Piratas do Pau Upcycling Centre

Published: 05 September 2014
Piratas do Pau (PdP) Upcycling Training Centre trains and employs young Mozambicans in the design and production of modern furniture made from 90% reclaimed materials. The products are sold locally through a distribution network. Read more

Enterprise Brief: Honey Products Industries

Published: 31 August 2014
Honey Products Industries creates an agribusiness value chain out of high-quality honey. The honey is sourced from independent smallholder beekeepers, packaged and processed in factory hubs and distributed across the country via a franchise model. Read more

Early stage impact investing: a call for action

Published: 18 August 2014Authors: Anais Mangin
The exponential growth of small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) in Africa, Asia and Latin America has contributed significantly to the burgeoning green economy. Read more

Making growth sustainable: co-creating solutions through social and green entrepreneurship

Published: 10 June 2014Authors: Jona Liebl
Africa has some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, but many people remain excluded from the benefit of this growth with almost half of the population in sub-Saharan Africa living on less than USD1.25 per day. Read more

SEED Awards 2014 - A Call for Applications

Published: 11 February 2014
Start-up social and environmental entrepreneurs who have developed innovative products or services and are working with local communities can win a tailor-made business support package through the 2014 SEED Awards, which open for nominations today. Read more

SEED Awards 2014 - Apply by 8 April!

Published: 01 January 2014
The SEED Initiative has just launched the 2014 SEED Awards to support entrepreneurs for sustainable development. Read more

SEED participates in the High-Level Thematic Debate at the 67th Session of the United Nation General Assembly: ‘Entrepreneurship for Development’

Published: 24 June 2013
SEED has been invited to participate in the panel discussion ‘Entrepreneurship as a Tool for Empowerment’ during the High Level Thematic Debate at the 67th Session of the United Nation General Assembly, on 26 June 2013, in New York. Read more

Case Study: Village Cereal Aggregation Centres

Published: 07 September 2012
This initiative enables farmers to deliver high-quality grain to the market value chain, reduce post-harvest losses, and encourage more participation of youth in cereal production. Read more

RIO+20: SEED and UNDESA join forces at the Partnership Forum on 20 June 2012

Published: 15 June 2012
A Partnerships Forum will be organized at Rio+20, which will consist of highly dynamic and interactive sessions to highlight the significant contributions of partnerships to the implementation of sustainable development. SEED will participate in two sessions of the forum. Read more

Announcement: Meet the 2011 SEED Winners!

Published: 15 December 2011
It is with great pleasure and excitement that the SEED Initiative today announces the 2011 SEED Award Winners! Read more

UN Announces SEED Award Winners 2011 With Focus on African Entrepreneurs

Authors: Source: UN News
A company that transforms groundnut shells into fuel briquettes in Gambia and a business in Kenya where women produce aloe-based skin care products are among this year’s winners of a United Nations-backed award recognizing projects that help promote sustainable development. Read more

Enterprise Brief: GebRaa

Published: 29 August 2011
Using recycled materials and invasive species from the wetlands around Lake Victoria, KICK encourages local artisans to create handmade products. It also recycles wire from old fridge compressors and uses it to make unique handmade paper cards and bookmarks. Read more

Enterprise Brief: Recycle Not A Waste Initiative – RECNOWA

Published: 29 August 2011
The Recycle Not A Waste Initiative (RECNOWA) recycles waste plastic and other waste materials into welldesigned products for daily use and fashion items. The initiative then promotes and sells the products. This creates employment and income opportunities for disadvantaged young people in the suburbs of Accra. Read more