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SEED is a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the inclusive green economy.
Our story

Promoting entrepreneurship for sustainable development.

SEED was founded at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg by UNEPUNDP and IUCN. In order to tap into the full potential of market-based mechanisms, avert environmental degradation and tackle social problems, a global initiative was needed which could trigger and promote entrepreneurship at the local level, and stimulate enabling global policy frameworks at the same time. SEED is based on the understanding that the promotion of social and environmental entrepreneurship is pivotal for sustainable development and poverty reduction.

We work on the SEED Theory of Change

Promoting Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development

SEED works with social and environmental enterprises and policymakers promoting entrepreneurship for sustainable development. Through the strengthening of enabling business conditions and the acceleration of social and environmental SMMEs, SEED contributes to private sector development while fostering social and environmental impacts.

Green and Inclusive Growth

The growth and success of social and environmental enterprises that yield a transformative and collective impact potential is central to green and inclusive growth. A dynamic private sector driven by social and environmental enterprises creates green jobs, stimulates local economies, strengthens communities and enhances environmentally sound management practices. These enterprises not only spur development and market growth through the provision of innovative goods and services, but also ensure the preservation of the very foundation of national economies – environmental and social resources.

Reducing Poverty and Environmental Degradation

Social and environmental enterprises create a lasting collective impact for marginalized communities. They include the poor population along their value chain, working with them as suppliers, distributors or consumers. The focus lies in particular on deprived women, unemployed youth and on the creation of jobs in the informal economy. At the same time, social and environmental enterprises help to protect the environment and contribute to global climate change mitigation by furthering the sustainable use of local natural resources and assisting local communities in adapting to climate change. Through the provision of sustainably produced consumer goods and services,  they avert environmental degradation and pioneer business models which are based on environmental sustainability.

We work in multiple areas of interventions

Foster Enterprise Development

Through an annual global awards scheme SEED selects the most promising social and environmental enterprises and provides them with a package of capital, networking and capacity-building support. This furthers their ability to scale-up or expand their business operations. SEED does this through direct tailor-made advisory services provided by its network of in-country service providers and geared by the SEED Toolkit.

Building Partnerships for Impact

SEED hosts Symposia, National Dialogue Fora and Workshops that stimulate an exchange of experiences and peer-learning while also triggering South-South collaboration. This enhances partnerships between and within all involved stakeholders to support the systemic uptake of entrepreneurial solutions to social and environmental problems. Those SEED events bridge the gap between entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy-makers, the community of finance and practitioners to foster partnerships and networks for action.

Strengthen Enterprise Ecosystems

SEED works with partners at the national and international level to enhance the quality and capacities of business development service (BDS) providers. This improves the business environment of social and environmental enterprises, facilitating access to advisory services and ultimately, access to finance. SEED does this through the provision of toolkits, the implementation of Training of Trainers and the co-development of an international standard for BDS providers.

Shaping Green and Inclusive Policies

SEED gathers evidence on how social and environmental enterprises grow, which barriers they face and which measurable impacts they achieve. Thus, it provides key insights for national and international policy-makers. This promotes enabling frameworks and improved market conditions for social and environmental enterprises. Through these policy insights, SEED advocates the development and implementation of green and inclusive private sector policies accelerating entrepreneurial solutions to policy- and decision-makers.

Our expertises
  • Africa | South

South Africa

Get in touch
Alt-Moabit 91, 10559 Berlin, Berlin, Germany, Germany, Europe
Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, South Africa, South Africa, Africa

Get in contact with us and send an open job application by showing your skills and work experience. Many thanks for your interest!