Calling entreprene...

Calling entrepreneurs for sustainable development: 2009 SEED Awards

Do you have an entrepreneurial and innovative idea that is locally-driven and has great potential to contribute to sustainable development in developing countries? In January 2009, the SEED Initiative will be launching its call for proposals for the 2009 SEED Awards for entrepreneurship in sustainable development.

SEED Award Winners receive a tailored package of support services, worth up to $40,000, to help their venture to become established and to increase their impact. This includes access to relevant expertise and technical assistance, meeting new partners and building networks, developing business plans and identifying sources of finance.

You can apply for a 2009 SEED Award if:

  • you are finding new ways of simultaneously improving incomes and strengthening livelihoods; tackling poverty and marginalisation; and managing and conserving natural resources and ecosystems
  • you are developing a new concept that brings together people and organizations from different backgrounds to work in partnership, a project that requires partners to pool their commitment and human, financial, and natural resources
  • you need support to make your idea a reality, or to help you grow.

We welcome innovative ideas from any group in a developing country, which is working in partnership with other stakeholders. The call for initial expressions of interest will open in early January 2009 and close in mid-March 2008. Winners will be announced at the UN Commission for Sustainable Development in New York in May 2009.

Further details will be available at when the call for submissions is launched in January 2009.

The 2008 SEED Award Winners

  • In Brazil, partners in Pintadas Solar are triggering community approaches in the semi-arid Northwest to water-efficient crop irrigation and biofuel production to address climate change adaptation and mitigation, and food security and poverty.
  • In Cameroon, Guiding Hope partners plan to expand their production of organic, fair-trade honey from the remote Adamoua savannah to reach international markets and to become Cameroon’s largest exporter of high quality beeswax, as well as building an international market chain for the community-owned soap- and candle-making businesses.
  • In India, local businesses and an NGO have teamed up with a UK university and identified an essential oil from high altitude Himalayan oregano as an antimicrobial agent that could be used in handsoaps and surface disinfectants in hospitals as a preventative against the bacterium Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
  • In Nicaragua, a university research centre, a women’s cooperative, an NGO and experts on solar technology will launch a cooperative business that will produce and market solar products made from recycled solar cells and solar cookers adapted for local needs.
  • In Thailand, tsunami-affected communities on the Andaman coast plan to expand employment opportunities through community-based tourism while the proceeds will support local projects such as handicraft marketing, a community centre, recycling, and youth-led conservation programmes.

About the SEED Initiative

The SEED Initiative identifies, profiles and supports promising, locally-led start-up enterprises working in partnership to improve livelihoods, tackle poverty and marginalisation, and manage natural resources sustainably in developing countries. SEED develops learning tools for the broad community of social and environmental entrepreneurs, informs policy- and decision-makers, and aims to inspire innovative entrepreneurial approaches to sustainable development. SEED is a global network founded in 2002 by IUCN, UNDP and UNEP to contribute towards the goals in the UN’s Millennium Declaration and the commitments made at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. Partners in the SEED Initiative are IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature); the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); and the governments of Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

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