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SEED your wild plant business in 2013!

The SEED Awards for Entrepreneurs in Sustainable Development is an annual awards scheme designed to find “the most promising social and environmental start-up enterprises in emerging economies, developing and least developed countries”.

The awards, sponsored by the SEED Initiative, promise a tailor-made support package to help entrepreneurs expand their businesses, in order to generate employment and new livelihoods, train local communities, and use natural resources in a sustainable manner.

Himalayan oregano, the focus of a winning initiative in 2008. Image from: http://www.seedinit.org/en/awards/winners-database/2008%20Awards/himalayan-oregano-oil-and-sustainable-livelihoods-against-mrsa-.htmlPast winners include a number of enterprises developing products from wild collected plant species such as seabuckthorn, essential oil from high altitude Himalayan oregano, syrup from fruits of Tetrapleura tetraptera (Prekese), and oil extracts from seeds of Allanblackia spp.

Award winners can look forward to expert advice on creating their business plans, customized workshops on skills enhancement and “high-level profiling of their enterprises through an international network of businesses, governments and development institutions.”

Entrepreneurs following the FairWild Standard principles of sustainable and fair trade in wild collected plant resources could surely benefit!

An international jury of experts will select enterprises which have the potential to make real improvements in poverty eradication and environmental sustainability while contributing to a greener economy.

This year, SEED Awards are available in the following categories:

  • 15 SEED Awards to enterprises in Ethiopia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda;
  • 5 SEED Awards for enterprises in South Africa;
  • 3 SEED Awards for South African 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;
  • 2 SEED Gender Equality Awards, for enterprises in other countries (except countries that are OECD or EU members).

To be considered for an award, candidates must:
   a) Demonstrate entrepreneurship and innovation;
   b) Deliver economic, social and environmental benefits;
   c) Have the intention and potential to become financially sustainable;
   d) Involve a partnership between different stakeholder groups;
   e) Be locally-driven or locally-led;
   f) Have potential for scale-up or significant replication;
   g) Be in the early stages of implementation, and;
   h) Be in a country with a developing or emerging economy

The awards are financed by the  European  Union,  the  German  Federal  Ministry  for  the  Environment,  Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the government of Flanders, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the international law firm Hogan Lovells.

Applications must be made by 12 June 2013, 23:59 CET. Visit the SEED Initiative website for more details.

About the SEED Initiative

SEED  was  founded  by  UNEP,  UNDP,  and  IUCN  at  the  2002  World  Summit  on  Sustainable  Development in Johannesburg. From April 1st 2013, SEED’s Host Partner has been Adelphi Research, based in Germany although SEED continues to work together with the previous host organization, the UN Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).  

Partners in the SEED Initiative, in addition to the Founding Partners, are the governments of Flanders, Germany, India, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America; the European Union; Conservation International; and SEED’s corporate partner, Hisense.

The SEED Initiative is a global partnership for action on the Green Economy.  

It  identifies  and  supports  promising  small-scale  start-up  social  and  environmental  entrepreneurs around the globe, entrepreneurs that while working towards a greener economy also tackle poverty, marginalisation and social exclusion.  

SEED provides these social entrepreneurs with know-how and networks, taking the lessons learnt at local level up to decision-makers to promote evidence-based policymaking in the green economy.