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SEED Awards for Entrepreneurs in Sustainable Development

Deadline: 8 April 2014
Open to:  any enterprise which is working in partnership with others to generate economic, environmental and social benefits
Prize: money award USD 5,000, assistance with developing the idea


The SEED Awards for Entrepreneurs in Sustainable Development is an annual awards scheme designed to find the most promising, innovative and locally led start-up social and environmental entrepreneurs in countries with developing and emerging economies. An international jury of experts selects enterprises which have the potential to make real improvements in poverty eradication and environmental sustainability while contributing to a greener economy.


SEED welcomes innovative ideas from any enterprise in a developing country or country in transition, which is working in partnership with others to generate economic, environmental and social benefits.

SEED Awards Winners must:

  • Demonstrate entrepreneurship and innovation;
  • Deliver economic, social and environmental benefits;
  • Intention and potential to become financially sustainable;
  • A partnership between different stakeholder groups;
  • Locally driven or locally led;
  • Potential for scale up or significant replication;
  • In the early stages of implementation;
  • In a country with a developing or emerging economy.

To apply for the SEED Low Carbon Awards, enterprises, in addition to the above eight criteria, also need to make significant contributions to mitigating and/or adapting to climate change.

To apply for the SEED Gender Equality Award, enterprises, in addition to the above eight criteria, also need to be run or owned by a woman or women and prioritise gender equality and/or women’s empowerment as a core objective.


In summary, in 2014 up to 55 SEED Awards are made available:

  • 30 SEED Africa Awards for enterprises in Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda;
  • 12 SEED South Africa Awards for enterprises in South Africa, four of which to enterprises in the provinces of Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal;
  • 10 SEED Low Carbon Awards for enterprises in Colombia, India, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam;
  • 3 SEED Gender Equality Awards, for enterprises in other countries (except countries that are OECD or EU members).

SEED Awards consists of:

  • assistance and advice on developing and improving the enterprise’s business and financial plan;
  • a three-day in-country business-oriented workshop also covering the key elements and factors which help to build a successful social and environmental enterprise, which is also gender responsive;
  • participation in a high-level international awards ceremony with senior government and UN officials, development institutions, financial institutions and businesses;
  • profiling of the enterprise nationally, regionally and internationally;
  • assistance with access to relevant organisations, businesses, and to other SEED winners and SEED alumni, and SEED Partners, Supporters and Associates;
  • a financial contribution of USD5,000 to cover the enterprise’s most pressing needs, as agreed between the winner and SEED;
  • Gender Equality Winners will in addition receive support from the international law firm Hogan Lovells who have an established pro bono practice advising women entrepreneurs across the world.


Apply online HERE. Please note that only complete submissions will be considered which are submitted before 8 April 2014, 23:59 Central European Time (CET).

For more information visit the official website HERE.

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