Annual SEED Awards Scale Up Impacts of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs

Do you have an entrepreneurial and innovative idea that is locally-driven and has potential to contribute significantly to sustainable development in countries with developing or transition economies? The annual SEED Awards for Entrepreneurs in Sustainable Development are designed to find the most promising, innovative and locally led start-up social and environmental entrepreneurs in countries with developing and emerging economies.  


The SEED Awards aim to support winning entrepreneurs to scale up or replicate their activities – thereby enhancing their contribution to their local economies and communities while promoting sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems and reducing poverty, marginalisation and exclusion.

SEED Award Winners, based in emerging economies, developing and least-developed countries, will receive $5000 towards their most urgent needs. In addition, over a period of about 6 months, they will be offered expert advice on developing their business plans, the opportunity to take part in specially-designed workshops to enhance their skills, high-level profiling of their enterprises and access to an international network of businesses, governments and development institutions.

This year, up to 55 SEED Awards are made available:

  • 30 SEED Africa Awards for enterprises in Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda;
  • 12 SEED South Africa Awards for enterprises in South Africa, four of which to enterprises in the provinces of Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal;
  • 10 SEED Low Carbon Awards for enterprises in Colombia, India, Tanzania, Uganda and Viet Nam;
  • 3 SEED Gender Equality Awards, for enterprises in other countries (except countries that are OECD or EU members).

The deadline for applications is 8 April 2014.

Previous SEED Award winners include 5 star Stoves, High Atlas Agriculture, KARIBU Solar Power, Nuru Energy, GreenTech Company Ltd – fuel briquettes from groundnut shells combined with fuel efficient stoves, Solar Sister, Thrive, and Recycle Not A Waste Initiative – RECNOWA. Winners of the 2013 SEED Awards included enterprises in Uganda for a biogas plant which utilises agricultural waste to produce renewable energy for rural communities; in Colombia for an alternative lighting system based on recycled plastic bottles for off-grid housing; in Ethiopia for improved cook stoves and briquettes for various end-users throughout the country; and in Namibia for a value-added fish and food processing facility which focuses on solar-dried food. 

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