SEED Starter

Incubating fresh ideas into eco-inclusive enterprises.

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
Nairobi, Kenya

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.
Nadero Ventures
Wa, Ghana

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.
Nutri-Nations
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.
RESI
Kampala, Uganda

SEED helped us embrace our responsibility to co-create a world where each of us, our communities, and our planet can flourish sustainably.
Terganic Limitée
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.

PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT

Receive professional support from experienced entrepreneurship experts.

ENTREPRENEURIAL IDEAS

Develop ideas using our 19 self-help tools from the SEED Starter Toolkit.

PEER LEARNING

Learn from peers who similarly strive to generate eco-inclusive impacts.

NETWORK BUILDING

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:

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SEED Starter Teams trained
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Total youth participants
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Total female participants

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.

Starter Toolkit


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.

Starter Toolkit

Starter Toolkit


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.

Refine Workshop


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.

Starter Toolkit

Starter Toolkit


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.

Enjoy the success story Kenyan Starter Team AfroEggs who went to market within seven weeks after our completing our SEED Starter programme by clicking here.

AfroEggs


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.


SEED Grants

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.

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT SEED GRANTS


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.

MEET SUCCESSFUL SEED STARTER TEAMS


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.

CONNECT WITH SEED BDS+ ADVISORS


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

Featured SEED Starter Teams have successfully developed, tested and refined their innovative business ideas which contribute to sustainable development. These teams are at the forefront of innovating business models for clean energy, waste management, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, to name a few. Starter Teams are at varying stages of development and many seek the funding and partnerships necessary to fully realise their business objectives. We welcome you to discover and collaborate with SEED Starter Teams.
MEET ALL RELATED ENTERPRISES

Image Gallery

Enjoy 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!

SEED Library

In the SEED Library we have a variety of Starter content for you. Navigate through our news and blog articles or check out our Starter toolkit preview.

Supporters

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

Amar Munnolimath

SEED Starter Expert

Our SEED Starter Expert is available to consult. Please get in contact if you are a funder, incubator or generally interested in co-financing and partnership opportunities.