Applications for 2011 SEED Awards now open

Social and environmental entrepreneurs who can demonstrate innovation, leadership and sustainability have the chance to win expert assistance and support for their sustainable development initiatives in the 2011 SEED Awards.

The SEED Initiative — hosted by the UN Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)  — is a global partnership for action on the Green Economy. The annual SEED Awards help to develop the most promising social and environmental start-ups in emerging economies and developing countries.

SEED Award winners will receive expert advice on developing their business plans, take part in tailor-made workshops to enhance their skills and benefit from high-level profiling of their initiatives through the SEED Initiative’s international network of businesses, governments and development institutions.

By helping entrepreneurs to scale-up their activities, the SEED Initiative aims to boost local economies and tackle poverty, while promoting the sustainable use of resources and ecosystems.

As in previous years, entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies across the globe can apply for a SEED award. In addition, as part of an EU funded project, specific awards will be made available to initiatives in seven pilot countries in Africa: Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa.

This year, one special SEED Gender Equality Award will also be made available to initiatives that are women-led or owned, and prioritise gender equality or women’s empowerment as a core objective.

The full list of available 2011 SEED Awards is as follows:

  • up to 14 awards for initiatives in South Africa;
  • up to 20 awards for initiatives in Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal;
  • and up to 5 awards, including the 2011 Gender Equality Award, for initiatives in other countries  (except countries that are OECD members).

Previous SEED Award Winners have included, among others, an initiative in Kenya that turns waste into fencing posts; a bamboo bike producer and a producer of baskets made from leftover plastic and clothes in Ghana; an initiative in Sri Lanka that links small-scale farmers to the market via a unified brand; a partnership in China producing solar concentrators that harness the sun’s energy to provide portable heat; an initiative that provides small landholders with a set of agricultural tools in a canvas backpack and a business initiative in Colombia headed by a local NGO that uses fruit and pulp as ingredients for the local cosmetics and food industries.

The deadline for applications is 22nd August 2011, 23:59 Central European Time (CET).

Applications can be filled in online at the SEED Initiative website or the application form can be downloaded and emailed to Applicants may also contact the SEED Initiative by email or phone (+49 30 89 00 068 99) in case they are not able to submit their application electronically.

For more information please contact:

Constance Hybsier, Email:

Mellab Shiluli, Tel: +254 723 546 406. E-mail:

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