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SEED Awards 2021 to offer visibility – and funding – to African entrepreneurs

SEED Awards 2021 is on the search for innovative small and growing businesses delivering environmental, social, and economic impacts. Applications are now open.

The Seed Awards are a key SEED Event, and for the first time in 15 years, the Awards are open to entrepreneurs in Botswana. The annual Awards are for the most innovative and promising locally led start-up which is eco-friendly. Each year, multiple awards are offered, from different countries and themes. SEED is a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the green economy. Founded by UNEP, UNDP and IUCN at the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

The goal of SEED is to support the ability of such enterprises to scale up or replicate their activities.Up to 48 prize packages will be awarded to innovative and promising locally led enterprises in social and environmental sectors from emerging economies. This year, in its 14th cycle, two award categories are offered:

  1. SEED Low Carbon Awards
    Open for applicants from: Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, and Uganda
  • SEED Climate Adaptation Awards

Open for applicants from: Botswana, Malawi, and Zambia

Enterprises that fulfil the below criteria are encouraged to apply:

  • Innovative market-driven enterprise providing solutions to social and environmental problems
  • Have intention and potential to become financially sustainable
  • Is in partnership between different stakeholder groups
  • Is locally founded and locally led
  • Has potential for scale-up and replication
  • Is operational and in the early to growth stages

Applications are accepted on the SEED Platform at https://app.seed.uno/

Prize packages

A total of €163,500 funding is offered in the form of grants and matching grants for SEED Award recipients. SEED Award Winners and Runners-up will also participate in the SEED Accelerator and Catalyser programmes, respectively. These programmes are run by local business development organisations and designed to support high-potential enterprises to scale up, optimise their eco-inclusive impacts and financial planning.

In addition, Award recipients will get access to the SEED Enterprise Toolkit for collaboration and hands-on design thinking methods for enterprise development. Winners and Runners-up will join more than 300 SEED Award alumni and be profiled at our high-level awards ceremony as well as SEED partner events.

Supporting small and growing green enterprises

Beyond celebrating achievements of businesses that create social and environmental impact, the SEED Awards and enterprise programmes play an important role to support green and social impact SMEs with their challenges.

“SEED support has helped us improve our products and services, which will also help us expand our offerings to more related products that we feel would complement our present ones,” says SEED Award 2019 recipient StoneSoup, India.

“SEED has helped me to build confidence in me. I have been able to stand and speak in front of different donors, stakeholders, financiers and government officials,” explains SEED Award 2019 winner Joyce Sikwese from Green Impact Technologies, Malawi.

Source: Botswana Unplugged via FurtherAfrica

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