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

As of: January 2021

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make significant contributions to climate protection by developing and offering innovative services and products for greenhouse gas mitigation or to adapt to 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. As part of the Corona Response Package, the SEED project supports inclusive and sustainable enterprises at different stages, from start-up to growth and scaling. Selected start-ups receive the “Low Carbon Award”, which, in addition to the prize money, also includes technical accompanying measures. . Innovative business ideas are disseminated and cooperations for a resilient, green and socially-integrative economy are launched via the high-profile award ceremony, web-based tools, virtual platforms and personal exchange formats.

State of implementation/results

  • To date, numerous winners have been presented with the "SEED Low Carbon Award" in public ceremony, including participants from Ghana, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda. The start-ups receive proven SEED training programmes (conducted in cooperation with local business development service providers) to improve and expand their business models. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, project activities were expanded to include a digital support programme to increase the resilience of SMEs in the respective target countries.
  • In view of the COVID-19 crisis, the so-called participatory "train the trainers" workshops were extended to improve support programmes and instruments of local business development service providers. Virtual workshops addressed the key resilience mechanisms for socially-inclusive and climate-friendly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Additionally, the SEED India Hub conducted a virtual co-creation workshop. Here, business development service providers from India developed ideas on how to meet current challenges of SMEs in an appropriate way.
  • 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, which were published together in one 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 around 180 key actors 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.
  • Furthermore, SEED published the report "Mapping Enterprise Resilience to COVID-19" with six essential resilience factors as well as good practices that distinguish particularly resilient enterprises from the SEED programme. The report also shows how governments and other stakeholders can support SMEs in this crisis.

Project data

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

Implementing organisation:
adelphi research gemeinnützige GmbH

Implementing partner(s):
  • 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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