The Landscape of Eco-inclusive Entrepreneurship in Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

One of the SEED focus areas for 2016 includes eco-inclusive entrepreneurship in Malawi, Mozambique, and Namibia. Eco-inclusive entrepreneurship is an important market-based solution for economies transitioning to sustainable growth trajectories while providing essential services for the marginalised populations of these emerging economies. This report is part of an effort to support the sector through improved research, building the track record for eco-inclusive enterprises and highlighting their ‘triple bottom line’ impact and contribution towards green growth. It serves to inform governments, donors, investors, large corporations, and development partners of the importance of eco-inclusive entrepreneurship, the current challenges such enterprises face, and potential areas for increasing external support to improve the ecosystem for eco-inclusive entrepreneurship.

Eco-inclusive enterprises represent a relative niche (but growing and increasingly important) segment within the broader SME sector. As such, they are faced with the same external environmental constraints and challenges as traditional enterprises. In order to effectively support eco-inclusive entrepreneurship to realise its potential and benefit, it is imperative that the basic building blocks for entrepreneurship more generally are in place. This is especially important in developing countries where the obstacles faced by SMEs are more acute and, in turn, hinder the potential and emergence of eco-inclusive enterprises as a niche sub-set of SMEs.

Consequently, we situate this policy paper by framing the economic and entrepreneurial context for each country, followed by a discussion of the landscape and value of eco-inclusive entrepreneurship within the country, the key enablers and challenges, and, finally, culminating in a series of recommendations to improve the environment for eco-inclusive enterprises.