SMEs for an African Green Economy
On July 1st, Lewis Akenji, Executive Director of SEED, participated in a webinar that showcased the work that SEED and other organisations are currently doing to build a green, fair future for Africa. The webinar was part of the African Forum on Green Economy series of webinars that ran from April to July 2020.
During the session Lewis showcased how SEED supports eco-inclusive enterprises – these are enterprises that bring economic, social and environmental benefits to their local communities – and the contribution that they make in protecting and restoring natural capital across the African continent. Examples of eco-inclusive enterprises included:
- WANA energy solutions - Uganda: Provide rural communities with a clean and affordable energy solution and employment for rural women
- Fourth Line Limited – Zambia: Produce moveable, durable and productive beehives that increase local bee populations, and provide income opportunities for the local community
- AgriCentric Ventures – Ghana: Partner with both smallholder farmers and commercial-scale farmers to buy their farm waste, and convert the waste into quality organic farming products
SMEs face many challenges despite the important benefits they bring to their communities. These include difficulties in obtaining loans and/or grants, very limited government support and a lack of training for non-financial support (to develop better business plans, better management practices and to be more strategic in how SMEs can scale up their impacts).
Governments need to understand how SMEs can help achieve nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We need to start showcasing SMEs not just as businesses but as part of the package of solutions which governments are leveraging to solve social and environmental problems.
For more details, you can watch the session here.
About the Africa Forum
The Africa Forum is part of the Economics for Nature programme, a six-year project being led by the Green Economy Coalition and its partners the Natural Capital Coalition, the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership, WWF France and Finance Watch. The aim of Economics for Nature is to support development, economic and spatial planning processes to internalise the many values of nature.