SEED was founded at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg by UN Environment, UNDP and IUCN as a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the green economy. SEED is based on the understanding that the promotion of social and environmental entrepreneurship is pivotal for environmentally friendly and socially inclusive development and poverty reduction.
SEED offers two kinds of programmes – Direct Enterprise Support Programmes and Ecosystem Building Programmes.
• SEED works directly with growing enterprises and aspiring entrepreneurs in their Enterprise Support programmes to strategize, optimize, and award achievements in eco-inclusive entrepreneurship. All SEED’s participating enterprises receive a comprehensive SEED Support Package of tailored business and capacity-building support, networking, and profiling at the national and international levels. In the category of Direct Enterprise Support Programmes, SEED offers Incubation Programmes and Acceleration Programmes.
Incubation Programmes include SEED Starter and SEED Replicator.
The SEED Starter programme guides participants from the early stages of ideation to the generation of a viable business plan used to launch an eco-inclusive enterprise.
The SEED Replicator targets entrepreneurs without a business idea as well as early-stage entrepreneurs who are trying to identify partnership opportunities and grow their impact.
Acceleration Programmes include SEED Catalyser and SEED Accelerator.
The SEED Catalyser guides enterprises to refine their business models and optimise their environmental, social and economic impacts and investment readiness.
The SEED Accelerator programme develops the investment readiness and operational excellence of established eco-inclusive enterprises looking to scale up.
• Complimentary to their direct Enterprise Support programmes, SEED offers programmes to build an ecosystem of supporters and advocators necessary to the success of growing enterprises. Their Ecosystem Building activities fortify a global network of local business development services providers and offer platforms for coordination between key local, national and international stakeholders. Their facilitation of multi-stakeholder engagement through SEED programmes generates policy, financing and collaboration instruments that multiply the social, environmental and economic impacts of entrepreneurship. SEED shares extensive evidence of the value of eco-inclusive entrepreneurship to sustainable development with key stakeholders through publications and national and international events. Specifically, SEED Finance includes SEED Grants and SEED Practitioner Labs Climate Finance.
SEED Grants support eco-inclusive enterprises and aspiring entrepreneurs who have successfully participated in selected SEED Enterprise Support programmes to finance their immediate necessary activities, measures or machinery while they start-up or scale-up their activities.
SEED Practitioner Labs for Climate Finance engage leading experts to address core financing challenges and deliver innovative, tailored financial solutions. Practitioners pool their expertise to prototype financial products which drive investment in climate-smart solutions and improve climate resilience, refine these prototypes and mobilize partnerships to successfully launch the financial products.
Financing Instruments: Grants, loans, technical assistance
Successful and highly motivated alumni of the SEED Starter incubation programme are invited to apply for a SEED Grant for up to €1,000 EUR which pays for their immediate necessary activities, measures or machinery required to establish the new enterprise. Project scales for other programmes are not available now.
Recipient countries regions/country groups: Global. Recipients of accelerator programs are limited to Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Recipient categories: enterprises
SEED Finance activities identify and support the implementation of financing solutions for small and growing eco-inclusive enterprises whose business activities address global environmental, social and economic challenges.
All SEED Grants are advertised and dispersed via the SEED Platform which is available on the SEED website.