Social Entrepreneurs! Apply For The EU, UN-Supported SEED Grant

What are the SEED Awards?

The SEED Awards for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development is an annual awards scheme designed to find the most promising, innovative and locally-led start-up social and environmental enterprises in countries with developing and emerging economies. The independent SEED 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.

Is your enterprise in a start-up phase and does it integrate social and
environmental benefits, solving pressing local issues? Is it women-led?
Do you need support to help to establish and grow your enterprise?

If these questions apply to you, you will be pleased to hear that SEED opened the Call for Applications for the


If you meet SEED’s eligibility criteria, you could apply for one of the 31 SEED Awards that are available this year.

             APPLY NOW             


This year SEED will make available up to 31 SEED Awards, for which SEED has received support from the European Union, the Government of Flanders, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the international law firm Hogan Lovells. Additional support is provided by the Government of the Netherlands and other SEED Partners.

SEED Africa Awards 2015 new sml


Is your social and environmental start-up enterprise located in Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Namibia or Mozambique? You could now apply for one of up to 23 SEED Africa Awards 2015.

SEED South Africa Awards 2015 new sml


Is your social and environmental start-up enterprise located in South Africa? You could now apply for one of up to 6 SEED South Africa Awards, 3 of them for enterprises in Free State, Limpopo or KwaZulu Natal.

SEED Gender Equality Awards 2015 new sml


Is your social and environmental start-up enterprise run or owned by a woman or women, does it prioritise women empowerment and is it country that is not a member state of the OECD or EU? You could now apply for one of up to 2 SEED Gender Equality Awards, one of them for an enterprise in Kenya.


No two enterprises are the same, either internally or as regards their operating environment. The SEED Catalyser offers each SEED Award Winner a customised support package consisting of tools, capacity building, profiling, network building, and financing, all tailored to their individual needs. Details of the five components of the SEED Catalyser are:

Icon Tools Tools: self-help tools that help enterprises prioritise and address their most urgent needs, for instance by assisting with market analysis, developing a funding strategy, mapping stakeholder relationships, and developing Memoranda of Understanding with partners.
Icon Tools Capacity Building: one-on-one advisory service that offers Winners assistance with their business and financial plan, including a 3-day in-country workshop, webinars and remote advisory through the SEED and In-Country Advisors.
Icon Profiling Profiling: SEED Winners are profiled nationally, regionally and internationally through a high-level SEED International Awards Ceremony with senior government and UN officials, development, support, and financial institutions as well as through marketing and promotional activities such as our website, blog and social media channels.
Icon Networking Network Building: SEED facilitates contacts between its winning start-ups and support organisations, funders, policy-makers, other enterprises such as SEED Alumni, and SEED Partners and Associates.
Icon Financing Financing: SEED provides a financial contribution of USD5,000 to each SEED Winner to cover the enterprise’s most pressing needs which are set out in a support plan agreed with SEED.

On 9-10 September 2015 Winners will be profiled at the SEED Africa Symposium in Nairobi, Kenya. During 6 months, from July to December, the SEED Award Winners receive specific business support based on their needs.


Up to six SEED Africa Awards in Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda and three SEED South Africa Awards are sponsored by the European Union:

EUThe European Union is made up of 27 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.

Up to three SEED South Africa Awards in South African provinces and up to seventeen SEED Africa Awards in Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia are sponsored by the Government of Flanders:

Flanders3The Government of Flanders is active in Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. It works not only with the local authorities, but also with indirect actors such as NGOs, research institutes and international organizations. In South Africa, the focus is on job creation through Small Enterprise Development, and improving food security through smallholder farming.

One Gender Equality Award is available for an enterprise in Kenya, sponsored by UN Women:

UN Women English Blue WhiteBackground SmallUN Women is the UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Established in July 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide, the creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda. It brings together resources, mandates and important work of four previously distinct part of the UN system for greater impact, and to become a global champion for women.

Additional support is provided by Hogan Lovells:

HL LogoHighResHogan Lovells is one of the largest international business legal practices, with over seven thousand people operating from 40 offices in Europe, Asia and the United States. The firm advises many of the world’s largest corporations, financial institutions and government organisations. They regularly act on complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions and commercial disputes.

Additional support is provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands:

RO EZ Logo 2 RGB pos en smallThe Ministry of Economic Affairs promotes the Netherlands as a country of enterprise with a strong international competitive position and an eye for sustainability. It is committed to creating an excellent entrepreneurial business climate, by creating the right conditions and giving entrepreneurs room to innovate and grow.


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