2017 SAG-SEED Awards Ceremony for three South African Winners
Following the announcement of 15 Switch Africa Green-SEED Award winners in New York on 13th July, South Africa hosted the SAG-SEED Awards Ceremony for three South African winners on 18th August 2017 in Pretoria.
The South African SAG-SEED Award winners are Ekasi Energy based in the Western Cape represented by David Lello; iThemba Phakama based in the Western Cape represented by Stephen Volanie; and Umgibe Farming Organics and Training Institute based in Kwa-Zulu Natal represented by Nonhlanhla Joye.
SEED was honoured to also welcome Leanne Richards from the Department of Environmental Affairs as well as Katrien Vandepladutse from the Government of Flanders at the Ceremony, who shared their perspectives on the SAG-SEED Awards and expressed support for SEED’s work in South Africa.
Panel Discussion: Partnerships for Business Development in support of a low carbon economy in South Africa
The event featured a panel discussion focusing on “Partnerships for Business Development in support of a low carbon economy in South Africa” with Cecilia Njenga, The Regional Coordinator for the UN Environment, Sifiso Ndwandwe CEO of Catalyst for Growth and Geoff Green from Green Acre Living (2016 SAG-SEED Award winner from South Africa).
The discussion outlined how collaborations between various institutions could improve non-financial capacity building to meet the needs of eco-inclusive SMEs to contribute to the low carbon economy in South Africa.
Collaborations and institutional networks are key to improve market access for SMEs with supporting policies. Those collaborations could furthermore successfully tackle behavior change for customers to purchase from SMEs instead of bigger brands.
The panel came to the understanding that there is also a need for systems that help coordinate processes to make sure government resources such as the Enterprise Supply Development (ESD) that provide capacity building and financial assistance are openly available to SMMEs.
The highlight of the event was the SAG-SEED Award Ceremony honouring the 2017 SAG-SEED winners from South Africa. The winners were accompanied by their associates such as the Western Cape Provincial Government and Aparate-SA. In a subsequent Q&A session, the outstanding enterprises showcased their business cases to the participants including potential investors and supporters.
Present in the audience were representatives from The Innovation Hub, United Nations Development Programme, Technology Innovation Agency, Department of Environmental Affairs, Department of Energy, Economic Development Department, Department of Small Business Development, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Small Enterprise Development Agency, to mention a few.