The SEED Blog

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

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
Soil: Appreciate what's beneath your feet

Soil: Appreciate what's beneath your feet

seed 19 January 2017 By Elizabeth Mamo & Amar Munnolimath What comes to your mind when you think of “soil”? Dirty? Dusty? Unclean? Irrelevant to your life? Think again. Soil gives life and opportunities. Having land with “good” soil can mean the difference between thriving plants and those struggling to stay alive. Looking into the soils of sub-Saharan Africa Much of sub-Saharan Africa has acidic, rusty-red-coloured soil, deficient in organic matter and necessary nutrients for plants such as nitrogen and phosphorus. It... Read the full article
Dagoretti project turns filth into green hub

Dagoretti project turns filth into green hub

curated 12 January 2017 By Milliam Murigi The stench of blood, animal dung mixed with human waste hung in the air like an ominous cloud at the famous Dagoretti Market. The waste, made up of water, animal blood and cow dung usually made its way to people’s farms, sloshing the soils and turning farms into dumps. - Read the story of 2016 SEED Winner Dagoretti Market Latrine on People Daily. Read the full article
Facilitating transformation

Facilitating transformation

guest 22 December 2016 By Noah Wandera & Eva Befeldt “For every challenge society encounters, there is always an opportunity that presents itself. But we waste a lot of time crying over the challenge and we miss the opportunity.” This statement means a lot to Otim George William, CEO and Co-Founder of Tii Kikomi Cassava Commercial Growers (TCCG), a social enterprise that attracts charcoal burners to cassava production and trains farmers in entrepreneuership, gender equality, making of organic manures and provides... Read the full article
Driving conservation through sustainable tourism enterprises
By ordercrazy (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Driving conservation through sustainable tourism enterprises

guest 15 December 2016 By Mariska van Gaalen Along the coast of Kenya, just north of Mombasa, the Watamu National Marine Park and Reserves grace the coastline. The oldest in East Africa, this marine protected area has given birth to a small but well-established local tourism industry. In recent years however, Watamu has struggled with increased solid waste pollution. Plastics and other waste pile up, harming marine biodiversity and spoiling the beauty of the beaches, thereby damaging the tourism product. In... Read the full article
Turning challenges in impact investing into prototype innovations

Turning challenges in impact investing into prototype innovations

seed 05 December 2016 By Rainer Agster & Kay Eunkyung Kang Kenya, where our first Impact Financing Lab took place, is one of the global centres of impact investing! But even there, many challenges for deal flow exist… In order to identify the key challenges in impact investing in the context of East Africa by stakeholders in this field, we launched our first Impact Financing Lab at the 2016 SEED Africa Symposium in Nairobi. In collaboration with our session partners Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), Inclusive... Read the full article
Hortinet: creating a fair and transparent horticulture market in Malawi
Hortinet, 2015 SEED Award Winner

Hortinet: creating a fair and transparent horticulture market in Malawi

curated 24 November 2016 By Practitioner Hub "The high and alarming poverty levels of the rural people in Malawi coupled with great opportunity that exists to commercialise the horticulture sector influenced Hortinet to start a social enterprise." The Practitioner Hub spoke with the 2015 SEED Winner Hortinet on their business reaching scale at the SEED Africa Symposium 2016. Read the full article
Spurring the replication of eco-inclusive enterprises – towards a collaborative integrative support approach

Spurring the replication of eco-inclusive enterprises – towards a collaborative integrative support approach

seed 16 November 2016 By Mirko Zürker & Lina Frank At the 2016 SEED Africa Symposium in Nairobi Ligia Noronha, Director of the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, underlined that “Replication is a key theme to foster green growth and sustainable development”. But replication demands targeted support at every stage, which calls for collaboration between diverse support providers and a strong ecosystem. Replication as a key path to leverage impact… SEED Award Winner Karibu Solar Power makes energy... Read the full article
Why All Women Recycling considers replication as a new pathway to scale impact

Why All Women Recycling considers replication as a new pathway to scale impact

guest 10 November 2016 By Lynn Worsley “ Be creative, be unafraid, and take that step off the mountain. I assure you it’s worth it. ” This advice from Lynn Worsley, the founder of the successful eco-inclusive enterprise and 2014 SEED South Africa Award Winner All Women Recycling , encourages women who are considering founding their own social enterprise to go for it. In South Africa it is estimated that 3.7 million black women are unemployed, mainly due to the fact that they have had no access to... Read the full article
Kenyan entrepreneur sets off on long and plastic road
Green Road Ltd., 2016 SAG-SEED Award Winner

Kenyan entrepreneur sets off on long and plastic road

curated 02 November 2016 By UNEP At the end of her story, one gets that sense that Jackline Lang’at’s social enterprise, making road material and paving blocks while solving the waste plastic problem, is on the verge of taking off— all it needs is opportunity. Read the full article
Scaling Innovation at the Energy-Agriculture Nexus in East Africa
Solar panels on a farm, Mali © Curt Carnemark / World Bank

Scaling Innovation at the Energy-Agriculture Nexus in East Africa

guest 27 October 2016 By Christian Pirzer & Christine Meyer “ The climate is changing. Food and agriculture must, too. ” With this year’s theme of the World Food Day on October 16 th , the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) chose a strong message that tackles key issues of our modern global society. Indeed, climate, energy and agriculture are all interconnected. We recently hit on this topic through the launch of our newest SAG-SEED Sectoral Business Condition Brief on the Energy-Agriculture Nexus in East Africa and... Read the full article
Ugandan farmer hogs glory in grassroots award
YICE Uganda, 2016 SAG-SEED Award Winner

Ugandan farmer hogs glory in grassroots award

curated 20 October 2016 By UNEP YICEUganda (Youth Initiative for Community Empowerment Uganda) is the result of a lifetime of his dogged persistence and ingenuity. It has raised the incomes of 630 smallholder farmers by 20 per cent and boosted their food production by about 100 per cent since Ssempijja founded it in 2011. Read the full article
5 key success factors for successful replication of eco-inclusive business models

5 key success factors for successful replication of eco-inclusive business models

seed 14 October 2016 By Christine Meyer “There is no problem in Africa that nobody has thought about. Use those ideas!” said Ndubuisi Ekekwe from the African Institute of Technology two weeks ago at the SEED Africa Symposium in Nairobi. And, Jukka Uosukainen from the Climate Technology Centre and Network added: “ Take the best innovations of the world and copy them. Let's start copying. I love it!” The topic of replication is no brand-new approach. But, the potential of replication of proven business... Read the full article
The Lost Crop: 2016 SEED Award Winner Transforming Rural Women’s Lives
Unique Quality Product Enterprise, 2016 SAG-SEED Award Winner

The Lost Crop: 2016 SEED Award Winner Transforming Rural Women’s Lives

curated 04 October 2016 By UNEP When asked why she does what she does—working with women from poor rural backgrounds to grow and sell a little-known West African cereal crop—Salma Abdulai begins to tear up and pauses to dab at her eyes. “The women come up to me and say they can now afford to pay their children’s school fees,” the petite lady says, hiding her tissue in the sleeve of her bright yellow patterned traditional Ghanaian dress. “There are many more stories, but those are the best.” Read the full article
Training Business Development Service Providers to Boost Eco-Inclusive Innovations

Training Business Development Service Providers to Boost Eco-Inclusive Innovations

seed 14 September 2016 By Rainer Agster Ten years ago, David founded the enterprise ‘Esam’s Best Chicken’ to reduce his country’s dependence on chicken imports and to provide a reliable source of income to smallholder farmers. Today, he and his team run a successful enterprise with a network of 210 smallholder farmers. Now they would like to widen their business model: contract new committed producers particularly from the base of the pyramid, add organic eggs to the product portfolio, and improve upon... Read the full article
Replicating successful business models - Moving from lighthouses to a network of street lamps

Replicating successful business models - Moving from lighthouses to a network of street lamps

seed 05 September 2016 By Christine Meyer Imagine. There are a few big lighthouses scattered over a vast piece of land. Light from the lighthouse circles around, shining brightly, but only upon selected sections of the land; thus, light is only available to a selected number of people. Now, picture the same vast piece of land but with many street lamps scattered around. Instead of light reaching only a few selected spots, much of the land is illuminated by the numerous street lamps. Though each individual... Read the full article
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