We benefitted greatly from SEED Starter, in particular, because we were encouraged by SEED to carry out a market survey. We compared the assumptions underlying our product with market realities and leveraged the feedback to modify, redesign, and improve the product. The outcome was an innovative product design and a market-driven approach.
Rokim Group Limited
SEED gave us a platform to fast-track our ideas into real business. The timelines given by the facilitators for achieving concrete goals was useful; our results during the Starter programme became the springboards of our success.
SEED Starter has been invaluable in giving us a platform to hone our idea and to communicate it effectively and meaningfully. We met many inspirational people and were challenged to take our grand ideas and present them pragmatically.
Pinetown, South Africa
The SEED Starter toolkit has become our enterprise manual; we turn to it every time we need to find ideas on how to improve our market performance.
SEED helped us embrace our responsibility to co-create a world where each of us, our communities, and our planet can flourish sustainably.
Bambous Virieux, Mauritius
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur and have a business idea that you want to turn into reality?
Our SEED Starter programme guides participants from the early stages of ideation to the generation of a viable business plan used to launch an eco-inclusive enterprise. Participants join together in teams during Starter workshops to blueprint and refine their business plans with the support of peer-learning and expert guidance.
You can view and apply to all upcoming Starter programme openings via our Join In page.
What does the SEED Starter offer?
As a SEED Starter Team, you along with other aspiring entrepreneurs will receive valuable resources and professional support to expand on your entrepreneurial ideas while learning from your peers during interactive SEED Starter workshops.
Receive professional support from experienced entrepreneurship experts.
Develop ideas using our 19 self-help tools from the SEED Starter Toolkit.
Learn from peers who similarly strive to generate eco-inclusive impacts.
Build a support network to assist with eco-inclusive enterprise start up.
The SEED Starter has generated key impacts to successfully support entrepreneurial teams to start-up their own eco-inclusive enterprises:
How does the SEED Starter process work?
All SEED Starter participants consist of a team of 2-5 members. They bring in a business idea for addressing environmental, social and economic challenges. The SEED Starter guides you and your entrepreneurial team to turn your eco-inclusive business ideas into reality. Our Starter is a three-month programme which helps you to understand and challenge the key underlying assumptions of your business. A set of workshops and individual support from one of our trained service providers immerses you in an unprecedented ideation journey. During the SEED Starter, you will bring in your fresh new ideas and take the first steps to design a successful enterprise. We particularly welcome applications from women and youth.
Our Starter programme is structured into four main stages designed to support you and your entrepreneurial team to transform your innovative ideas into tangible measures for enterprise start-up:
1 | DISCOVER PHASE
Gather a team, work on your initial business idea, convene frequently, conduct interviews with potential customers in preparation for receiving SEED support.
During the intial stage, you will mobilise other like-minded entrepreneurship into your SEED Starter Team. As a team you will determine your initial business idea for an enterprise that delivers environmental, social and economic benefits to your prospective target market and apply to participate in the SEED Starter programme.
Next Step: Apply for the Starter and participate in our highly interactive 3-day Design Workshop.
2 | DESIGN PHASE
Apply SEED tools and peering learning to expand on and explore in greater depth your team's ideas for an eco-inclusive start-up enterprise.
In the first of two SEED Starter workshops based on design-thinking methodology and the in-depth SEED Starter Toolkit, we guide your Starter Team together with all other teams to develop your eco-inclusive business idea. During the initial Starter workshop, our tools and facilitation assist you to joinly explore all relevant aspects of a start-up enterprise while engaging in lively discussions with your fellow entrepreneurs in the design of your own eco-inclusive enterprise.
Next Step: Test your business idea for 6-8 weeks, supported by a SEED Expert Advisor.
3 | TEST PHASE
Reconvene with your SEED Starter Team to refine your business idea and pitch it to your potential target market and partners.
After the first workshop your team will reconvene on its own, inspired by new ideas, insights and tools. Now it is time to pitch your eco-inclusive business idea to potential customers and partners in order to gather feedback and explore the market potential of your business idea. Our Expert Advisors are always only a step away, guiding you through the process.
Next Step: Collect feedback in Starter Toolkit and prepare for second two-day refinement workshop.
4 | REFINEMENT PHASE
Refine your business idea based on in-depth insights collected during the testing phase and peer learning opportunities.
In a second workshop, your Starter Team will return with numerous valuable insights from the testing period. The comprehensive feedback from your prospective customers and esteemed friends and partners serves as the basis for discussing and refining your business idea for an eco-inclusive enterprise. The interactive discussions and valuable peer learning exchanges with other Starter Teams helps you to realise where the true potential of your business idea lies.
Next Step: Reflect on learnings from second workshop and channel momentum into refined business model.
5 | DEMONSTRATE PHASE
Bring your innovative business idea to market and deliver products and services that generate positive environmental, social and economic impacts for your target market.
After the successful completion of the SEED Starter programme, you and your entrepreneurial team will be equipped with the tools, insights and supportive network to launch your product at market. You will be following in the footsteps of previous Starter participants who have similarly innovated and refined business ideas that offer socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable market-based solutions.
Next Step: Scale-up your enterprise and its positive eco-inclusive contributions.
6 | ADDITIONAL SUPPORT
Benefit from our our extensive network of eco-inclusive enterprises, experienced business development service providers and supportive partners as they work towards the next stages of enterprise growth.
As a successful and highly motivated alumnus of our SEED Starter incubation programme, you are invited to apply for a SEED Grant for up to €1,000 EUR which pays for your immediate necessary activities, measures or machinery required to establish the new enterprise. All SEED Grants are advertised and dispersed via our SEED Platform.
SEED Enterprise Profiling
Successful Starter Teams are supported through the profiling and networking opportunities offered by SEED. As a highly motivated SEED Starter alumni, your team will receive the opportunity to display your individual enterprise profile on our website and we will support you wherever possible during the next stages of your entrepreneurial journey.
SEED BDS+ Advisors Support
Selected programme alumni can also benefit from the additional tailor-made one-on-one support offered by SEED BDS+ Advisors, who support enterprises to further refine their products and develop their business models.
Next Step: Remain an active member of our SEED network via our online platform, by participating in our other programmes and by updating us on how you are generating environmental, social and economic benefits.
SEED Starter Teams
MEET ALL RELATED ENTERPRISES
Image GalleryEnjoy photos from previous SEED Starter workshops in various locations.
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur and have a business idea that you want to turn into reality? Check whether there are any SEED Starter workshop planned near you!
The SEED Starter workshops in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are supported by the Government of Flanders. This support builds on the successful cooperation between the Government of Flanders and SEED since 2012, in which small and growing eco-inclusive enterprises have been supported in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa.
From 2016 – 2018, the SEED Starter workshops in Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana and Burkina Faso were supported by SWITCH-Africa Green.