The SEED Blog

Supporting pioneering community businesses on their pathway towards a sustainable future

Supporting pioneering community businesses on their pathway towards a sustainable future

seed 25 July 2018 By Christine Meyer & Insa Jülich Dakeni is a small, very rural village near Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal - around 300 people live in the village. Arriving in the area, we see local women taking care of a large plant nursery. A lot of the men are working in the distant cities. Extending over 17 hectares, the nursery hosts beautifully flowering plants and a wide range of aloes. All of the plants are indigenous to South Africa and are used by traditional health practitioners. The nursery and facilities are... Read the full article
Seizing opportunities of eco-inclusive enterprises for a green and inclusive waste sector in South Africa

Seizing opportunities of eco-inclusive enterprises for a green and inclusive waste sector in South Africa

seed 25 July 2018 By Christine Meyer & Insa Jülich Do you recycle? – Good. But do you know what happens to your waste when it has been collected? Waste management is a hot topic around the world – but management practices vary a lot between countries. Although a variety of efforts are made to reduce, reuse and recycle in South Africa, 90% of the country’s waste is still being dumped in landfills, which are filling up quickly. This is a challenge, especially as overall waste is projected to increase in amount. At... Read the full article
Momentum builds to shorten innovation cycles for eco-inclusive entrepreneurship

Momentum builds to shorten innovation cycles for eco-inclusive entrepreneurship

seed 19 June 2018 By Maggie Sloan & Christine Meyer Momentum has been building to replicate the success of eco-inclusive business models across countries, regions and the globe. A full programme of Replicator Workshops has kept us busy at SEED over the past few months. Since April, we have held eight SEED Replicator Connect Workshops across South Africa and two in Malawi with inspiring groups of highly motivated entrepreneurs. To be an entrepreneur means more than just starting you own business. An entrepreneur is... Read the full article
Beating plastic pollution with business innovation on World Environment Day 2018

Beating plastic pollution with business innovation on World Environment Day 2018

seed 04 June 2018 By Maggie Sloan & Sonya Ong At SEED, we celebrate and support innovative enterprises around the globe who integrate social and environmental objectives into their business models. On World Environment Day, we would like to give a shout out to enterprises who #BeatPlasticPollution everyday through their innovative products and eco-inclusive value chains. These days we are flooded with stories about how waste – in particular, single-use ‘disposable’ plastic – ends up in our landfills and... Read the full article
Small and growing eco-inclusive solar enterprises fighting energy poverty on ground

Small and growing eco-inclusive solar enterprises fighting energy poverty on ground

guest 21 March 2018 By Yasmin Waljee OBE There are nearly 1.1 billion people without access to energy in the world. These are in communities that have no chance of getting access to national grids and even when they do: in low income countries in remote rural communities, it is pretty unreliable. The costs of kerosene for home cooking and diesel are expensive, noisy (try sleeping next to a generator) and of course, harmful to health; In 2016, the World Health Organisation reported that household air... Read the full article
Celebrating Female Entrepreneurship on International Women’s Day 2018

Celebrating Female Entrepreneurship on International Women’s Day 2018

seed 08 March 2018 By Zaina Batool & Amar Munnolimath At SEED, we embrace the potential of female entrepreneurs and are committed to empowering women. We not only offer equal-opportunity employment and encourage flexible working arrangements to assist families, but also take data-driven action globally to support women entrepreneurs working towards a greener economy and to accelerate female empowerment, including through our past SEED Gender Equality Award scheme. Pressing for Progress At SEED, we recognise that... Read the full article
SEED Celebrates a Female-Led Enterprise on International Women’s Day

SEED Celebrates a Female-Led Enterprise on International Women’s Day

seed 08 March 2018 By Maggie Sloan & Sonya Ong As we celebrate the achievements of women today, we present the female-led Unique Quality Product Enterprise as part of our launch of the SEED Case Study Series 2018 . The new case study series that emanated from the SWITCH Africa Green project "Promoting Eco-Entrepreneurship in Africa", implemented by SEED, showcases how innoative eco-inclusive start-up enterprises in Africa shape sustainable development on the ground. Empowering marginalised women through the... Read the full article
Transform, Innovate, GoSustainable

Transform, Innovate, GoSustainable

seed 28 November 2017 By Julia Rohe & Regina Treutwein Innovation for success Coming up with new ideas is essential for the success of a business. Innovative enterprises are pro-active in solving problems, for instance, in reaching new customers or to refining their value proposition. An often unexplored opportunity for innovation is to integrate social and environmental dimensions into a company's business model. Business (not) as usual: eco-inclusive innovation with SEED GoSustainable How to innovate sustainably?... Read the full article
Help yourself to an ‘Aha’ moment: Organisational Development for eco-inclusive enterprises

Help yourself to an ‘Aha’ moment: Organisational Development for eco-inclusive enterprises

seed 17 October 2017 By Kay Eunkyung Kang My personal ‘Aha ’ Moment at SEED My exciting journey with SEED started back in February 2016. As soon as I joined the team, I knew I was in for a whole lot of surprises. Before joining SEED, I had worked at a few Korean companies and governmental affiliations as well as international organisations, all of which had already established organisational structures, leaving no space for me to engage in the Organisational Development (OD) of those organisations. Never... Read the full article
Three Great Insights for Building a Great Eco Enterprise: Lessons Learnt from UNLEASH LAB 2017, Denmark

Three Great Insights for Building a Great Eco Enterprise: Lessons Learnt from UNLEASH LAB 2017, Denmark

guest 04 October 2017 By Jackson Nyarko A few weeks ago, some participants from our SEED Starter and SEED Replicator Programmes joined the UNLEASH Innovation Lab 2017 * in Denmark, where they had the opportunity to work on their business ideas in order to create scalable solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals. Back in Ghana, Jackson shares the lessons he took home from this event. (*In August 2017, the inaugural UNLEASH event was held when talents from all over the world came to Denmark for nine... Read the full article
“Bra be da”, Waste for Cash and Outgrower Schemes

“Bra be da”, Waste for Cash and Outgrower Schemes

seed 21 September 2017 By Ebenezer Kumi Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of developing economies—providing over 60% of permanent full-time employment for citizens. In Ghana, MSMEs contribute as much as 70% of GDP and 85% of the manufacturing sector employment, and such impacts could be higher if we explored non-traditional ways of expanding eco-inclusive businesses—enterprises that integrate social environmental and economic goals into their business models. SEED has been... Read the full article
The 4 types of people  who can help you grow your business using the SEED Relationship Mapping tool

The 4 types of people who can help you grow your business using the SEED Relationship Mapping tool

seed 18 September 2017 By Kay Eunkyung Kang & Sonya Ong Growing a business can be a tricky and intimidating process. Business owners are overwhelmed with different aspects to focus on. Should we invest in better customer experience, partnerships, staff wellbeing, or procuring more equipment? At SEED, we are dedicated to creating enabling environments for entrepreneurs to grow their business. Besides supporting entrepreneurs, we therefore also support Business Development Service (BDS) providers through our Training of... Read the full article
Exchange and re-energise: Business Development Services (BDS) Practitioners Dialogue in Ghana
Image Courtesy: IBA

Exchange and re-energise: Business Development Services (BDS) Practitioners Dialogue in Ghana

curated 08 September 2017 By René Vermeulen, IBA Hub Accra, Ghana Last month, IBA and network partner IBA Hub Accra,Ghana attended the 2017 SEED West Africa Symposium in Ghana. As part of the event we co-facilitated a practitioner dialogue with the Business Development Service Providers that are active in the business development field in Ghana. Here are some of the outcomes. Read the full article
Small Business, Big Impact: How small businesses can maximize their bottomline for people and planet
Image Courtesy: UNDP Afghanistan

Small Business, Big Impact: How small businesses can maximize their bottomline for people and planet

curated 06 September 2017 By Jielin Zhang, Partnerships Intern at the Bangkok Regional Hub There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that most big businesses are failing to work on sustainable development goals, according to new surveys. The good news is that, finally, small businesses are on board. Yet many small businesses know very little about SDGs even though it is now two years since the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted—the most ambitious development agenda in history that lays out 17 goals to end poverty, fight... Read the full article
A perfect match: How replication partnerships can effectively meet local challenges

A perfect match: How replication partnerships can effectively meet local challenges

seed 25 August 2017 By Benita Rose & Christine Meyer Within the last couple of months, we have facilitated over 15 Replicator Connect Workshop s Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Ghana. Very soon we will bring our Replicator to Mauritius and Burkina Faso. We engaged hundreds of future entrepreneurs and existing enterprises, collaborated with over 40 successful eco-inclusive ventures around the globe (Originators) and matched them with over 20 motivated entrepreneurs and enterprises (Adopters) in Sub-Saharan Africa to... Read the full article
High-level Political Forum 2017 SEED Side Event

High-level Political Forum 2017 SEED Side Event

seed 10 August 2017 By Arab Hoballah The HLPF 2017 SEED side event on Innovative and Eco-Inclusive Entrepreneurship, the SMEs in support to SDGs delivery was held on 13 July 2017 at UNHQ, New York. At a time when the global community is looking for practical and “down-to-earth” approaches to effectively deliver sustainability, it is of critical importance to pay due attention to, and engage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the sustainability process, in particular through the implementation of... Read the full article
Toolification: My personal journey in shaping the way we do business support at SEED

Toolification: My personal journey in shaping the way we do business support at SEED

seed 24 July 2017 By Mirko Zürker [Read the White Paper on Toolification accompanying this post here: From imposing solutions to building resilient organisations: Using the 4 shifts of Toolification towards next generation business development support ] My journey with SEED and providing one-on-one business support for eco-inclusive enterprises started in 2009. I worked with enterprises from Kenya and Ghana on their business plans, which at the time seemed to be already quite advanced. Given the... Read the full article
The forge of ingenuity: social entrepreneurs innovate through challenges
Image Courtesy: Siemens Stiftung

The forge of ingenuity: social entrepreneurs innovate through challenges

curated 20 July 2017 By Hlamalani Ngwenya Social entrepreneurship – After more than fifty years it is still hindered by the perception that all social good should be funded by donations and charity. Yet social entrepreneurs are potentially the richest source of new business principles, argues Hlamalani Ngwenya, who recently co-facilitated an epOnsite training session in Johannesburg, South Africa. Read the full article
No Overthinking—Replicate to multiply impacts of Clean Cookstove Enterprises

No Overthinking—Replicate to multiply impacts of Clean Cookstove Enterprises

seed 28 June 2017 By Ebenezer Kumi The economic, social and environmental benefits of eco-inclusive enterprises in developing countries are well known. Take clean cookstoves for instance: they help reduce respiratory diseases, avoid deforestation and create job opportunities such as designing, selling, and servicing stoves along the value chain. Yet, Global Alliance for Cookstoves in 2015 estimated about 3 billion people still cook over open fires or use cookstoves of insufficient quality which has... Read the full article
The BDS Practitioner Dialogue – Co-developing a standard for Business Development Services in South Africa

The BDS Practitioner Dialogue – Co-developing a standard for Business Development Services in South Africa

seed 30 May 2017 By Rest Kanju & Jona Liebl Since March 2016, SEED has embarked on a consultative process with the objective of developing a Business Development Services (BDS) standard focusing on services for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular eco-inclusive enterprises, in South Africa. SMEs are the backbone of the South African economy – they contribute about 50% to GDP, and more than 50% of the South African labour force. However, SMEs face significant challenges: management skills,... Read the full article
How Burkinabe entrepreneurs are shaping a greener future
Burkina Faso's Green Brigade

How Burkinabe entrepreneurs are shaping a greener future

guest 10 March 2017 By Damien N. Somé Find the French Version of the article below / Retrouvez la version française de l'article ci-dessous - From waste management to solar energy Have you ever heard of Burkina Faso’s “Green Brigade”? Picture teams of dozens of women regularly cleaning the streets of Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou at dawn! Many urban dwellers in the country’s capital have testified for the positive contribution of the green brigade to the cleanliness of the city. The green brigade... Read the full article
Imagine and Replicate

Imagine and Replicate

seed 15 February 2017 By Ebenezer Kumi Imagine . Imagine thousands of low-income women farmers whose lands are degraded and infertile because of overuse. How can they continue farming to provide for their children and families? Now imagine again- imagine there is an indigenous cereal that has the capacity to regenerate infertile soil when planted and is rich with proteins, vitamins and minerals when prepared. Imagine the acres of land that could be regenerated if these low-income women were given... Read the full article
Renewables set to energize Africa's growth

Renewables set to energize Africa's growth

curated 10 February 2017 By UNEP John Magiro Wangari was just 16 when he saved up 2,000 Kenyan shillings (about 20 US dollars today) to buy a generator, thinking to start an electricity generation project. The nearest electricity pole from his village was 15 kilometres away and there was no kerosene oil supplier nearby, so members of his community would spend 80 shillings on a return ride to the nearest town of Kangema, where they paid 80 shillings per litre of oil to run their generators. Read the full article
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