United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

SEED awards 2010: invitation for applications


Social and environmental entrepreneurs have the chance to apply to the annual SEED Awards as of today, 19 July 2010.

The annual competition, run by the SEED Initiative, aims to find and to help develop the most promising social and environmental start-ups in emerging and developing countries. SEED Awards winners will receive expert advice on developing their business plan, take part in tailor-made workshops and benefit from high-level profiling of their initiatives through link-ups with SEED's international network.

The SEED Initiative - hosted by UNEP - is a global partnership founded for action on the Green Economy. Through the SEED Awards, the UN organization aims to identify inspiring examples of partnership-based enterprises that can help meet sustainable development challenges.

By helping entrepreneurs to scale-up their activities, the SEED Initiative aims to boost local economies and tackle poverty, while promoting the sustainable use of resources and ecosystems.

As in previous years, entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies across the globe can apply for a SEED award. In addition, this year, as part of UNEP's Green Economy project, particular emphasis will be placed on seven target countries in Africa: Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa.

A total of up to 35 start-up initiatives will be rewarded in 2010: up to ten in South Africa, 20 in the other target countries and five elsewhere.

Now in their fifth year, interest in the awards has been growing steadily. In 2009, over 1,000 entries were received from 97 countries. Past winners for instance included a project in Bangladesh converting traditional kerosene lamps into low-cost solar-powered lanterns and a project in Colombia promoting artisanal mining of gold and platinum without any use of mercury and other toxic chemicals.

The deadline for applications is 16 August 2010, 23:59 Central European Time (CET). Applicants can apply online or download the application form from the SEED Initiative website at www.seedinit.org

Applications can be filled in online at the SEED Initiative website www.seedinit.org or can be downloaded and emailed to seedawards2010@seedinit.org. Applicants may also contact the SEED Initiative by email or phone (+49 30 89 00 068 99) in case they do not have the possibility to submit their application electronically.

For more information please contact:

Constance Hybsier, Email: constance.hybsier@seedinit.org

About the SEED Initiative

The SEED Initiative identifies and supports promising small scale social and environmental entrepreneurs around the globe, entrepreneurs who while working towards a greener economy also tackle poverty, marginalisation and social exclusion. SEED provides these social entrepreneurs with the knowhow and networks, taking the lessons learnt at local level up to decision-makers to promote evidence-based policy making.

SEED was founded by UNDP, UNEP and IUCN at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

Partners in the SEED Initiative in addition to the founding partners are the European Union, and the governments of Germany, India, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

More information: www.seedinit.org

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