New SAG-SEED Starter programme: Promoting the incubation of eco-enterprises in Africa

From the original idea to a solid business concept: With the SAG-SEED Starter Months SEED and SWITCH-Africa Green support young and promising eco-enterprises from Africa through their initial founding phase. More than 50 future startups have already participated in the programme.


Setting up an eco-business is both an exciting and challenging task: Turning an idea into a product or service customers actually want to purchase, requires not only a deep-dive into the market, but also business skills and bringing together the right team and partners. However, considering all aspects can pose a significant challenge to future eco-enterprises. Therefore, in collaboration with the SWITCH-Africa Green project SEED launched the SAG-SEED Starter Months 2016.

SAG-SEED Starter supports promising teams to become eco-entrepreneurs

The SAG-SEED Starter programme aims to promote eco-entrepreneurship in Africa by building capacities of new eco-enterprises and support them through their initial founding phase. To this end, the SAG-SEED Starter invites applications from young teams of future eco-entrepreneurs who are keen to set up a new enterprise and develop entrepreneurial solutions to key social and environmental challenges in their respective countries. Selected teams receive step-by-step guidance for developing their green and inclusive business models and making them market-ready.

During the first two SAG-SEED Starter schemes in South Africa and Mauritius, 23 young and innovative entrepreneurs have started to develop their sustainable and inclusive business ideas.  Yesterday, SEED launched the Starter programme in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda.

Future eco-enterprises receive capacity building support for developing their business ideas

During the application period for the SAG-SEED Starter Months future eco-entrepreneurs form their teams and come up with their business ideas to tackle challenges such as waste management, sustainable agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Under expert guidance the selected teams will come together for two workshops to develop and refine their business ideas. During the first workshop, entrepreneurs perform target market analyses, develop assumptions and scenarios about their respective business ecosystem and receive support in creating roadmaps, logos and developing their pitching skills. The second workshop is meant to further develop business concepts and make entrepreneurs ready to engage in a crowdfunding campaign and go to the market. The time between the workshops is used for testing the idea with potential customers and partners.

At all stages of the programme SEED provides selected prospects with a comprehensive set of tools and support services. The most successful teams can win additional capacity building support for their enterprise even beyond the SAG-SEED Starter programme.

The SAG-SEED Starter Months is a component of the SWITCH Africa Green multi-country project "Promoting Eco-Entrepreneurship in Africa" - implemented by SEED with its national project partners in six countries in Africa. The project’s objective is to potentiate and accelerate a green and inclusive economy and foster an enabling environment for eco-entrepreneurship and sustainable consumption and production. SWITCH-Africa Green is implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with the assistance of the European Union. For more information on the SAG-SEED Starter Months and the application criteria, please click here: