South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs and SEED partner on Eco-inclusive Entrepreneurship
Together with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) of South Africa – a strong partner in the SEED South Africa Steering Committee – SEED organised a roadshow to raise awareness on eco-inclusive entrepreneurship in March 2017. Later this year, the DEA and SEED will jointly implement the SAG-SEED Starter Months to incubate aspiring teams of future entrepreneurs. This is motivated by the department’s decision to expose the participants of Working for Programmes to the large potential of entrepreneurial solutions to tackle social and environmental challenges in a sustainable manner.
The three workshops, held in North West, Limpopo and Free State, attracted more than 180 participants and officials from the DEA as well as local municipalities and provinces. The participants included project contractors from the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Natural Resource Management programme (NRM) and the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The workshops covered the basics of what makes an eco-inclusive enterprise and how they can contribute to the green economy. Local entrepreneurs were invited to present their businesses, answer questions and breathe life into the concepts. Later, the participants discussed how they can act on their learnings from the workshop and how the partnership between the DEA and SEED can support them.
The most motivated among the participants can apply for the SAG-SEED Starter Months, which provide teams with support to set up their eco-inclusive enterprises using a five-phase process: Discover, Design, Test, Refine and Demonstrate. Through the roadshows and Starter Months, the DEA and SEED aim to equip the teams to turn their conservation efforts into financially sustainable enterprises that make significant contributions to sustainable development at the local level.