SEED Awards 2016

Deadline extended to 31st March 2016

Is your enterprise in a start-up phase and does it integrate social and environmental benefits, solving pressing local issues?
Do you need support to help to establish and grow your enterprise?

2015 SEED Africa Winner

2015 SEED Africa Winner Loj de Energies

SEED has opened the Call for Applications for the 2016 Switch Africa Green-SEED Awards, SEED
Africa Awards and SEED Gender Equality Awards. This year up to 20 Awards will be available; 15 SAG-SEED Awards supported by the SWITCH-Africa Green (SAG) project, which is implemented by UNEP with the assistance of the European Union; 4 SEED Africa Awards supported by the Government of Flanders; and 1 SEED Gender Equality Award in Kenya. Additional support is provided by the international law firm Hogan Lovells, the Government of the Netherlands and other SEED Partners.

If you meet SEED’s eligibility criteria, you can now apply for:

Switch Africa Green-SEED Awards 2016
Is your social and environmental start-up enterprise located in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa or Uganda?
You could now apply for one of up to 15 SAG-SEED Awards supported by the SWITCH-Africa Green project, which is implemented by UNEP with the assistance of the European Union.

SEED Gender Equality Award 2016
Is your social and environmental enterprise run or owned by a woman or women, does it prioritise women empowerment and is it located in Kenya?
You could now apply for the SEED Gender Equality Award in Kenya.

Each Award Winner will receive a package of tailored support services consisting of:
ToolsTools: self-help tools that help enterprises prioritise and address their most urgent needs, for instance by assisting with market analysis, developing a funding strategy, mapping stakeholder relationships, and developing Memoranda of Understanding with partners.

Capacity buildingCapacity Building: one-on-one advisory service that offers Winners assistance with their business and financial plan, including a 3-day in-country workshop, webinars and remote advisory through the SEED and In-Country Advisors.

ProfilingProfiling: SEED Winners are profiled nationally, regionally and internationally through a high-level SEED International Awards Ceremony on 28 September in Nairobi, Kenya, with senior government and UN officials, development, support, and financial institutions as well as through marketing and promotional activities such as our website, blog and social media channels.

network building Network building: SEED facilitates contacts between its winning start-ups and support organizations, funders, policy-makers, other enterprises such as SEED Alumni, and SEED Partners and Associates.

The deadline for applications is 31st  March 2016, 23:59 Central European Time (CET).
Please apply online or download the application form from the SEED website at here
Eligibility criteria
You will be able to apply for a 2016 SEED Award if your enterprise:
a) demonstrates entrepreneurship and innovation
b) delivers economic, social and environmental benefits
c) has the intention and potential to become financially sustainable
d) is a partnership between different stakeholder groups
e) is locally-driven or locally-led
f) has potential for scale up or significant replication
g) is in the early stages of implementation
h) meets the country- and/or gender-specific requirements set out above.

More details on the elibility criteria are available together with details of previous Award Winners.
Examples of earlier SEED Winners
“It gives you credibility, it gives you dignity, it is like getting into a lift and suddenly you are on the 22nd floor.” Elizabeth Mbongo from 2015 SEED Winner Botanic Treasures about winning a SEED Award.
The 2015 SEED Winner Botanic Treasures works with more than 1,000 individuals along their value chain, from smallholder farmers over processing to sales, to produce natural Moringa products. Other SEED Winners in 2015 included an enterprise in Ethiopia that manufactures solar products locally and makes them available to rural communities; a South African cooperative that finds new ways to collect and recycle waste in rural Limpopo; an enterprise that sells low cost organic fertilizer to improve yields and food security in Malawi; and an enterprise in Uganda that builds a network of solar technicians to repair, service and sell solar systems.
How to Apply
You can apply online at the SEED website or you can download an application form and email it to If you are unable to submit your application electronically, please contact SEED by email or phone (+49 30 89 00 068 99).
Deadline for submissions has been extended to   31st March 2016, 23:59 CET. Late submissions will not be considered. Proposals that are shortlisted will be offered feedback and invited to submit additional information in late April 2016.

Further details about the SEED Awards 2016
Up to fifteen SAG-SEED Awards in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa and Uganda are sponsored by the SWITCH-Africa Green project, which is implemented by UNEP with the assistance of the European Union:
EU43SWITCH-Africa Green is implemented by UNEP with the assistance of the European Union. The European Union is made up of 27 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of
enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.

Additional support is provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands:
MinThe Ministry of Economic Affairs promotes the Netherlands as a country of enterprise with a strong international competitive position and an eye for sustainability. It is committed to creating an excellent entrepreneurial business climate, by creating the right conditions and giving entrepreneurs room to innovate and grow.
Up to four SEED Africa Awards in Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia are sponsored by the Government of Flanders:
logoThe Government of Flanders is active in Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. It works not only with the local authorities, but also with indirect actors such as NGOs, research institutes and international organizations. In South Africa, the focus is on job creation through Small Enterprise Development, and improving
food security through smallholder farming.
Additional support is provided by Hogan Lovells:
Hogan_Lovells_logo.svgHogan Lovells is one of the largest international business legal practices, with over seven thousand people operating from 40 offices in Europe, Asia and the United States. The firm advises many of the world’s largest corporations, financial institutions and government organisations. They regularly act on complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions and commercial disputes.

About SEED
SEED is a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the green economy that was founded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. SEED is based on the understanding that the promotion of social and environmental enterprises is pivotal to a world of flourishing communities where entrepreneurship drives sustainable development. SEED’s comprehensive programme triggers the full potential of market-based mechanisms to avert environmental degradation and tackle social problems. From an annual global awards scheme that scouts for and supports the most promising innovative and locally-led social and environmental start-up enterprises in developing countries to enhancing the quality and capacities of business development service providers – SEED builds the ecosystem for social and environmental entrepreneurship.
SEED is hosted by Adelphi Research gGmbH, based in Berlin, Germany. Partners in SEED, in addition to the Founding Partners, are the governments of Flanders, Germany, India, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United States of America; Conservation International; the European Union; SWITCH-Africa Green; Hogan Lovells; UNIDO; UN Women and SEED’s Corporate Partner, Hisense.
Contact us:
For media inquiries please contact Mr Jona Liebl via
For more information about the application process please contact the SEED Team via
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Click here for the full  press release