In South Africa, a 2014 SEED Award Winner, GreenABLE, recycles empty printer cartridges generating a steady flow of income and employment opportunities for previously unemployed persons with disabilities. In addition, its activities reduce the amount of waste going into landfills. The enterprise is just one example how small scale social and environmental enterprises can contribute to sustainable development through promoting environmental protection, sustainable resource use, job creation and social equality at the local level.
This year SEED continues to support enterprises such as GreenABLE through the 2015 SEED Awards to promote entrepreneurship for sustainable development. The SEED Awards are seeking entries from innovative start-up enterprises who aim to generate environmental, social and economic benefits at the local level. It is targeting micro, small and medium size enterprises (SMMEs) or non-profit initiatives from developing countries that are in the start-up phase and are based on a partnership approach.
SEED this year will make available up to:
23 Africa Awards to enterprises in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda;
6 South Africa Awards to enterprises in South Africa, with up to three of them to enterprises in the provinces of Free State, Limpopo or KwaZulu-Natal;
2 Gender Equality Awards to enterprises in countries that are not OECD or EU Member countries; one of them to an enterprise in Kenya.
SEED Award Winners in 2014 included, among others, an enterprise in Colombia that produces premium outdoor furniture out of recycled plastic and organic waste materials; a women’s farming cooperative that improves food security in Nepal; an enterprise that markets solar electricity kiosks in rural off-grid areas of Malawi; and an enterprise that deploys bikes as subsidised moving billboards for the rural poor in Mozambique. Find more examples at: www.seed.uno.
An international jury of experts will select those enterprises which have the potential to make real improvements in poverty eradication and environmental sustainability while contributing to a greener economy. Winners will receive USD $5,000 cash funding, tailored business support and networking opportunities. They will also be invited to the SEED Africa Symposium in Kenya where they have the opportunity to present their innovative business model to influential delegates and to share their experiences with experts and other enterprises.
Founded by UNEP, UNDP and IUCN, SEED has more than 10 years of experience in supporting social and environmental enterprises: Since 2005 SEED has provided grants and tailored business assistance to 175 social and environmental enterprises in 37 countries.
Submission deadline is 31 March 2015, 23:59 CET. Visit the SEED website to find out more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply.
“SEED is opening us up to a whole different avenue that we had never thought of before, so it’s really adding a lot of value.” Bevlen Sudhu, GreenABLE, South Africa
This blog article was first published on The Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business and is reproduced with permission.