SEED and SMEs: Celebrating 20 years of promoting a sustainable future together
SEED 20th Anniversary
Twenty years ago, SEED was launched by UNEP, UNDP and IUCN at the World Sustainable Development Summit in Johannesburg with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship for sustainable development. At the time, there was little attention paid to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and their role in delivering sustainability. Ever since, SEED has set out to increase awareness and to advocate for the recognition of the critical role played by SMEs as a key pillar for development, social cohesion and environmental protection. As a sub-group of SMEs, eco-inclusive enterprises specifically focus on providing socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable impacts through their business activities. They similarly include low-income and vulnerable groups in their value chain as employees, suppliers, distributors and consumers.
Over its 20 years, SEED has supported over 2,000 enterprises and trained more than 500 business development providers across 41 countries, as well as engaged with 950 organisations in Latin America & the Pacific, Africa and Asia. SEED has continued to demonstrate the need and value of such global partnerships and has applied a constantly evolving approach to respond to the needs of SMEs at different levels of progress and in different ecosystems, learning by doing and co-creating with concerned stakeholders for a collective impact.
We at SEED are proud of the long-standing joint achievements in the past two decades and are excited for what’s to come ahead. Activities taking place in 2022 will look at significant progress made as well as what’s ahead in decades to come to deliver scale. To celebrate SEED's 20th anniversary, we want to invite you to have a look together at both achievements and emerging needs for the promotion of responsible eco-inclusive businesses. We also look forward to replicating success stories, further inducing innovations and scaling up for long lasting transformative impacts. To achieve this, we will be releasing a SEED 20 Years Flagship report series “From Impact to Scale” and participating in various high-level events throughout 2022, such as Stockholm+50 and COP27. Celebrations will also take place in person. We will get together in Germany at our hosting partner, adelphi, and we will also have country celebrations in different parts of the world where SEED is currently active.
Building on 20 years of experience, the team at SEED sees the next two decades as an important period where there is an opportunity not only to consolidate the successes and lessons learned, but also as a chance to use our experience, networks and partnerships to support eco-inclusive enterprises to scale for a more impactful and transformative change.
Follow our #SEED20Years Stories on Social Media and be part of our SEED 20 Years journey to a sustainable future!