More support for social and eco-enterprises: SEED Accelerators go to Malawi and Mozambique

Supported by the Government of Flanders, SEED now provides advanced financial support to two 2015 SEED Africa Winners seeking to deliver their social and environmental solutions at a larger scale. The announcement took place at the SEED South Africa Symposium, held on 16-18 March in Pretoria.

19/03/2016

Electricity4All, operating in Malawi, provides solar battery kits that can power households and small to medium-sized businesses, independent from the grid, by using renewable solar energy. By building up a network of solar energy kiosks, the enterprise is improving access to affordable and sustainable electricity in rural communities. Baobab Products Mozambique (BPM) has created a local value chain around Baobob fruits, buying pulp and seeds from women harvesters, before processing it into nutrient-rich powder and oils. The products are sold nationally and internationally.

Both enterprises were announced on 16 March as this year’s Accelerators, who will receive one-on-one advising on financial management and access to finance over the period of one year, combined with a financial contribution of up to USD 40,000. The objective of the SEED Accelerator is to provide the recipients with a stable and sound business foundation that they will be able to build upon without significant dependence on continued outside assistance.

Participants have found solutions for pressing challenges

The Accelerator Announcement was part of this year’s SEED South Africa Symposium focusing on the overarching theme “Unlocking capital, boosting support – building the ecosystem for eco-entrepreneurship in South Africa”. With over 200 entrepreneurs, practitioners, investors and policy makers contributing to interactive sessions and inspiring discussions, the Symposium once again demonstrated its value in collaboratively discussing and developing approaches to build the ecosystem for eco-entrepreneurship in South Africa.

The Symposium focused on how to overcome pressing challenges that social and environmental enterprises in South Africa still face: a lack of capacity and skills in the ecosystem, as well as a shortage of investment capital. To tackle these challenges, the Symposium’s participants developed approaches on how to streamline and standardize the landscape of business development support services in South Africa.

GIZ’s Practitioners Dialogue on Climate Investments infused global perspectives

In the SEED Investor Forum, social and eco-enterprises gained close contact with investors raising the profile of early-stage investing in South Africa. The Symposium’s Principal Partner, the International Labour Organisation, hosted a discussion on the development of enabling policy environments that support social and environmental enterprises.

To add international perspectives to the Symposium, SEED partnered with GIZ’s Practitioners Dialogue on Climate Investments involving participants from all over the world in developing approaches to put the Paris Climate Agreement into practice.

SEED was furthermore highly honoured to welcome H.E. Ambassador Marcus Cornaro, Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of South Africa, who provided valuable insights on recent policies and activities of the European Union aimed at collaboratively tackling economic and environmental issues through a circular green economy.

You can find key outcomes and highlights of the Symposium on the SEED website