Growing Green and Inclusive Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development in South Africa

SEED has worked closely with the Gordon Institute for Business Science in 2015 on a study that integrates for policy-makers the findings of five case studies in South Africa. As concerns with accomplishing SDG goals have become inextricably lodged within social and policy debates, scholars studying SMMEs have developed understandings of enterprises embedded within complex institutional environments. The current study has looked how SEED Winners in South Africa progress in achieving their triple bottom line objectives, taking into account challenges they encounter along the way, and success factors that have enabled them to move forward.

The five enterprises highlight in which ways social and environmental entrepreneurship can drive the vision of a ‘green economy’ in South Africa, however, these enterprises experience numerous challenges in achieving their triple bottom line goals and in scaling those up. While most have found resourceful ways to overcome challenges, such as multi-stakeholder partnerships, more enabling eco-systems are needed in order to support their growth and replication. Twenty-one recommendations have been identified, amongst which:  

  • Coordinated and targeted support skills building
  • Transitioning from grants-based models to revenue generation
  • Local government and communities take on the role of incubators
  • Promote gender balance and youth inclusion
  • Business Tax incentives for the incorporation of triple bottom line impacts