Water, Sanitation & Health (WASH)

Safe water and adequate sanitation for all are central to public health, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability. SEED-supported enterprises in the water, sanitation and health (WASH) sector designed products and services that support healthy and sustainable livelihoods through improved water security and greater access to adequate sanitation facilities. Exemplary enterprises in the sector offer biodegradable female sanitary products, hygienic toilet systems that convert waste to energy, community-owned water networks capitalising on local partnerships and more.

Water for Life – innovative and entrepreneurial ways of storing water in semi-arid regions of Brazil

Published: 30 July 2015Authors: Carolin Ehrensperger, Daniele Cesano, Thais Corral
Access to water is not only about meeting basic human needs; it is critical to sustainable development, too. Read more

Enterprise Brief: Bwengu Tomato Production and Processing

Published: 06 July 2015
Bwengu Tomato Production and Processing is a cooperative that applies a resource efficient system for tomato plantations. Its members run a water-saving drip irrigation system for the plantations and sell both raw tomatoes as well as tomato sauce in nearby markets. Read more

Enterprise Brief: COMSOL Cooperative for Environmental Solutions

Published: 06 July 2015
“COMSOL Cooperative for Environmental Solutions” is a women-led initiative that collects, buys, separates, cleans and resells recyclable solid waste to companies in Maputo. The initiative benefits individuals in vulnerable conditions in neighbouring areas by involving them in the collection process. Read more

Enterprise Brief: Days for Girls Uganda

Published: 06 July 2015
Days for Girls Uganda empowers girls and women around menstrual hygiene. Partnering with local community groups, the enterprise provides training for women to produce and distribute washable menstrual hygiene kits and soaps, while supporting with business training, reproductive health education, and community awareness. Read more

Enterprise Brief: Hortinet

Published: 06 July 2015
Hortinet specializes in sourcing and supplying urban markets in Malawi with various organic horticultural produce grown in the enterprise’s land and in outsourced smallholder farms. The enterprise maintains production contracts with local farmers and provides them with training and extension services. Read more

Enterprise Brief: People of the Sun

Published: 06 July 2015
People of the Sun offers unique handmade homeware products created from recycled and local, natural materials by marginalised artisans in Malawi. Artisans are organized in six enterprises, and profits from sales are reinvested in the organisation to ensure growth and support to artisans. Read more

Enterprise Brief: SavvyLoo

Published: 06 July 2015
SavvyLoo combines a waterless toilet with a low-tech solution to generate energy from human waste. The system is designed to separate liquids from solids using solar heat and dehydration, thus reducing harmful pathogens. Read more

Enterprise Brief: Vula Mobile

Published: 06 July 2015
Vula Mobile has developed a mobile phone app that empowers rural health professionals to provide efficient and effective eye care by accessing accurate information and connecting to specialists. The higher quality of primary care to patients reduces the impact of treatable and reversible illnesses. Read more

Increasing the impact of social enterprises in developing and emerging economies

Published: 25 June 2015Authors: Aline Margaux Wachner, Lisa M. Hanley, Tim Weiss
A recent large-scale survey published by Zeppelin University and Siemens Stiftung generally support the idea that social enterprises can have a positive impact on poverty reduction. However, it also reveals some caveats, which have led us to derive concrete recommendations for action. Read more

What role for eco-entrepreneurship in the Post-2015 agenda?

Published: 19 June 2015Authors: Anais Mangin, Helen Marquard
The Millennium Development Goals have shaped development cooperation in the last 15 years, and there has been progress towards eliminating poverty worldwide. Nevertheless, much remains to be done. Read more

Breaking the taboo: how managing menstruation in a hygienic and environment-friendly way can empower thousands of girls and women while reducing waste in developing countries

Published: 02 June 2015Authors: Amélie Heuër, Anais Mangin
While it may have gone unnoticed to many, the 28th of May was the International Menstrual Hygiene Day; a day initiated by WASH United to create awareness around the right of women and girls to hygienically manage their menstruation – in privacy, safety and with dignity – where ever they are. Read more

Explore SEED through the new Virtual Exhibition and learn about the SEED Winners’ impacts through the new SEED Case Studies

Published: 27 May 2015
SEED is launching a new interactive multimedia feature which will enable you to look into all aspects of SEED’s activities: the Virtual Exhibition, as well as new in-depth Case Studies that have emerged from the latest SEED research.  Read more

Greening South Africa’s economy: improved business development support for social and environmental enterprises

Published: 06 May 2015Authors: Julia Rohe-Frydrych, Rest Kanju
According to World Bank, South Africa ranks as an upper-middle income economy, representing the second-largest economy in Africa. While disposing of an abundant supply of natural resources and a modern infrastructure, unemployment, poverty, and inequality remain a challenge. Read more

Green and social entrepreneurship; a pathway to sustainable water management?

Published: 22 March 2015Authors: Amélie Heuër, Carolin Ehrensperger
This year, World Water Day* emphasises the crucial relationship between water and sustainable development. Indeed we all know that water is fundamental to our well-being and when we think of water, the first thoughts that often spring to mind are access to drinking water or water for food production. Read more

SEED Awards 2015 - Apply by 31 March 2015!

Published: 06 February 2015
In 2015 SEED will make available up to 31 SEED Awards, for which SEED has received support from the European Union, the Government of Flanders, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the international law firm Hogan Lovells. Additional support is provided by the Government of the Netherlands and other SEED Partners. Read more

Small meets big: How partnering with large corporations can scale impact of sustainable entrepreneurs

Published: 23 December 2014Authors: Anais Mangin, Helen Marquard
Are locally-driven social and environmental enterprises too small to have an impact? We at SEED don’t think so, and Organic Africa demonstrates that. In 2007, when everyone was leaving Zimbabwe due to political and economic turmoil, Dominikus Collenberg started to train smallholders in the organic production of herbs, spices and oils. Read more

World AIDS Day 2014: SEED Winners provide opportunities for affected women

Published: 01 December 2014
SMMEs like the SEED Winner from Rwanda have and continue to make their own valuable contributions to Closing the Gap by creating economic opportunities for HIV-infected as well as affected women and their families. Read more

Social and Green Enterprises – How to Create Enabling Frameworks to Increase their Contribution to Sustainable Development?

Published: 04 November 2014Authors: Amélie Heuër
Over the last four years, SEED has hosted a series of unique multi-stakeholder for a focussed on the Green Economy and Africa - the SEED Symposia - where each year innovative and promising start-up enterprises, that won a SEED Award for their remarkable efforts to address social and environmental challenges at the grassroots, are presented. Read more

Promoting entrepreneurship for sustainable development: why, and how?

Published: 23 October 2014Authors: Helen Marquard
When UNEP, UNDP and IUCN decided to register the SEED Initiative as a Type II partnership at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, they clearly thought they were on to something – but possibly not quite what SEED is now. Read more

Making green and social entrepreneurship work for all in the developing world

Published: 01 June 2014Authors: Amélie Heuër, Helen Marquard
With the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaching, consultations are taking place globally to draw out insights that can contribute to the “Post-2015 Development Agenda and Framework”. Read more

SEED Awards 2014 - A Call for Applications

Published: 11 February 2014
Start-up social and environmental entrepreneurs who have developed innovative products or services and are working with local communities can win a tailor-made business support package through the 2014 SEED Awards, which open for nominations today. Read more

SEED Awards 2014 - Apply by 8 April!

Published: 01 January 2014
The SEED Initiative has just launched the 2014 SEED Awards to support entrepreneurs for sustainable development. Read more

From Plates that Grow Food to Certified Cocoa: UN Awards Innovative Green Enterprises at Green Economy Symposium

Published: 31 October 2013
The 34 winners of the 2013 SEED Awards were announced today. Read more

Enterprise Brief: BanaPads

Published: 31 August 2013
BanaPads produces comfortable sanitary pads from natural agricultural waste materials. They are low-cost, 100 % biodegradable, locally made, safe and hygienic. The enterprise aims to reduce absenteeism among schoolgirls in rural and poor communities, create a distribution network of female entrepreneurs and establish sustainable independent micro-businesses. Read more

Enterprise Brief: Life Out Of Plastic - L.O.O.P.

Published: 30 August 2013
Life Out Of Plastic – L.O.O.P. is a 100 % women-owned organisation that raises awareness about plastic pollution. It finances awareness campaigns on the value of marine ecosystems to communities through the sale of up-cycled plastic products and environmental educational services for the private sector. Read more