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SEED Financing for Missing Middle Climate-Smart Enterprises

As of: February 2020

Objective and activities

The project supports SMEs in developing and emerging countries in their efforts to mitigate climate change by developing and providing services and products in the area of mitigation and adaptation. Thus far, SMEs lacked access to financing and to the expertise needed for developing climate-friendly business models. The SEED initiative therefore rewards selected climate-friendly start-ups with a 'Low Carbon Award,' which includes prize money and technical assistance, for instance for developing business plans. The public award brings attention to a wider audience and will encourage more companies to emulate successful business models. Since 2013, business ideas have been recognized with the SEED 'low carbon award', including winners from India, Uganda, Colombia, Vietnam, South Africa, Ghana and Indonesia. The winners implement business ideas with a focus on climate friendly appliances for households securing energy supply.

State of implementation/results

Project in implementation.
  • To date, numerous winners have received the SEED "low carbon award" in public ceremonies, including winners from India, Uganda, Colombia and Vietnam. They implement business models that are primarily focused on the distribution of climate-friendly lighting and heating applications for local, rural households.
  • In 2019, participative "Train the Trainers" workshops were held in all six target countries to improve support programmes and instruments of local business development service providers. The proven SEED toolkits and advisory approaches were disseminated through a multiplier approach.
  • In order to improve access to finance for socially-integrative and climate-friendly SMEs, so-called Practitioner Labs Climate Finance were conducted 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. In 2018, the labs were already in place in India, Ghana and Thailand.
  • SEED presented winners of previous years and results of the Practitioner Labs Climate Finance 2018 at the UN PAGE Conference in Cape Town in January 2019 with an exhibition stand and a presentation. SEED's multimedia presentation included case studies of climate-friendly SMEs and information on their contributions to the Green Economy.
  • SEED has started planning a National Dialogue Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. The event "Beyond Exchange: Empowering Green and Inclusive Partnerships to Promote Eco-Inclusive Entrepreneur-ship for Sustainable Development" will take place on 21-22 January 2020 in Thailand and bring together key players from the private sector (including climate-smart companies), politics, finance and civil society.

Project data

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

Implementing organisation:
adelphi research gemeinnützige GmbH

Partner institution(s):
  • Diverse climate change relevant institutions in the respective partner countries/Diverse klimarelevante Institutionen in den entsprechenden Partnerländern
  • Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP),Nexii,United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

BMU grant:
7.340.438 €

04/2013  till  12/2022


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