SEED South Africa Symposium 2018

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Boosting Climate-Smart Enterprise Solutions

180 participants gathered at the annual SEED South Africa Symposium this year held on March 13-14 in Pretoria. Once again the event demonstrated its high value in generating collaborative discussions and developing approaches to promote eco-inclusive enterprises in South Africa.


Pretoria, 14 March 2018. 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 realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa and around the world already contribute to climate-smart economies while successfully improving the well-being of their local communities. With suitable approaches to clean energy, climate-smart agriculture, waste management and recycling those eco-inclusive enterprises are instrumental to address the vulnerability that local communities and countries face due to climate change. However, many climate-smart enterprise solutions do not pick up pace as they still face significant barriers that hinder them from contributing to the fullest. How do we thus unlock the full potential of climate-smart enterprise solutions? How can we support, finance and replicate promising business models that successfully contribute to a climate-smart economy?

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At the SEED South Africa Symposium 2018 enterprises, financial institutions, policy-makers, business development service providers and representatives of the civil society jointly developed ideas and approaches to tackle this challenge. The event was implemented with the generous support of the Government of Flanders, Hogan Lovells and the European Union through SWITCH Africa Green. Symposium partners as the Department of Environmental Affairs South Africa, the World Bank Group, Climate Innovation Centre South Africa and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) contributed to a successful event with inspiring insights.

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Through speeches, enriching panels, roundtable discussions and highly interactive sessions the Symposium not only identified impactful climate-smart business models but also seized ideas for supporting and financing those enterprises as well as scaling-up their impacts through business model replication. SEED was honoured to welcome Tlou Ramaru, Chief Director Climate Change Adaptation in the Department of Environmental Affairs, Geraldine Reymenants, General Representative of the Government of Flanders to Southern Africa and Najy Benhassine, Practice Director for the Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation (FCI) Global Practice at the World Bank Group providing valuable insights on how the private sector can play a key role in establishing a low-carbon economy.

In cooperation with Hogan Lovells, SEED was furthermore excited to announce the Hogan Lovells Community Solar Innovation Awards 2017 Award Winners during the Symposium. Insights on the Winner’s outstanding and impactful business models are available online. The Hogan Lovells Community Solar Innovation Awards 2017, implemented by Adelphi and managed by SEED and Barefoot College, seeks to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in September 2015 by 193 countries, which call for collaboration to end extreme poverty, tackle inequality and injustice, and safeguard the planet. Judges awarded entries which significantly improve the lives of women and girls, particularly those which focus on gender equality or female empowerment.

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You can download a summary report of the SEED South Africa Symposium 2018 here.

The event is part of the implementation of "Promoting Eco-Entrepreneurship in Africa", a SWITCH-Africa Green multi-country project in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa and Uganda.

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