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Financing and capacity building for micro and small Climate-smart Enterprises: Filling the gap of the missing middle

As of: September 2020

Objective and activities

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can also contribute to climate protection by developing and offering innovative services and products for greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptations to combat the consequences of climate change. The project combines the development of knowledge and resources for socially-inclusive and climate-friendly SMEs by supporting a favourable institutional framework. The SEED Initiative (Supporting Entrepreneurs for Environment and Development) supports inclusive and sustainable companies at different stages, from start-up to growth and scaling. Selected start-ups receive the “Low Carbon Award”, which consists of prize money and accompanying technical measures. The publicity value of the award is intended to encourage companies to participate. The project also offers web-based tools and platforms, and organises exchange formats to initiate cooperation with other social and environmental enterprises. The project is part of the IKI Corona Response Package.

State of implementation/results

  • Additionally, the project will promote favourable institutional framework conditions and include a combination of Green Recovery relevant activities into the project design.
  • To date, numerous winners have received the "SEED Low Carbon Award" in public ceremony, including winners from Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda. They implement business models that are predominantly geared towards the sale of climate-friendly applications for lighting and heating for local, rural households. The start-up companies receive proven SEED training programs (conducted in cooperation with local business development service providers) to improve and expand their business models. An overview of the business models of all 2019 SEED Award winners as well as the names of the finalists can be found on the SEED website:…
  • In 2019, participatory "Train the Trainers" workshops were held in all six target countries to improve support programs and tools from local business development service providers. The proven SEED toolkits and consulting approaches were disseminated through a multiplier approach.
  • To improve access to finance for socially-inclusive and climate-friendly SMEs, Practitioner Labs Climate Finance were held in South Africa and Ghana in 2019. The Labs promote the design, development and implementation of prototype financial products and instruments in the areas of climate adaptation and mitigation. The results were compiled and processed by SEED in a publication:… In 2018, the Labs have already been carried out in India, Ghana and Thailand.
  • In 2019 SEED conducted a National Policy Dialogue in South Africa. In total, three prototypes were developed and compiled in a publication:… In 2020, the process will be carried out in Ghana, 2021 and 2022 in other target countries
  • SEED conducted a SEED Dialogue Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, from 21 to 22 January 2020. The event "Beyond Exchange: Empowering Green and Inclusive Partnerships to Promote Eco-Inclusive Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development" brought together some 180 key players from the private sector (including climate-smart companies), politics, the financial sector and civil society.…
  • In cooperation with local actors and organisations, national SEED hubs are currently being established in Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Indonesia, India and Thailand. The national hubs are direct contacts for local SMEs, offer local networks and coordinate the project activities in the respective country.

Project data

Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda

Implementing organisation:
adelphi research gemeinnützige GmbH

Partner institution(s):
  • N.N.
  • Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP)
  • Nexii
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

BMU grant:
7.340.437,74 €

04/2013  till  12/2022


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