Winners of the 2014 SEED Awards

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SEED Awards winners presenting their products. Picture: SEED

The services ranged from furniture made out of recycled materials in Colombia to a marketing platform for products from Indian forests produced in a fair and sustainable manner - on 10 September 2014 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) presented the SEED Award to 41 exceptional start-ups from developing and emerging economies. The main criteria for receiving the award were entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to locally-driven sustainable development. In addition to the event's traditional strong focus on the African continent, ten enterprises were once again selected to receive the SEED Low Carbon Award, which is promoted through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The prize is awarded to enterprises from five selected countries (Colombia, India, Tanzania, Uganda, Viet Nam) that are developing innovative approaches to climate change mitigation or for adaptation to the impact of climate change.

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More information on the prizewinners and their business models (external)

Customised support for sustainable development

The SEED Initiative received applications from a total of 84 countries for its 2014 awards. This year's winners were selected by an independent, international expert jury. Each prizewinner not only receives a financial award of USD 5,000, but also technical assistance and access to institutions that develop customised support for the local projects. This enables the start-ups to continue pursuing their locally-driven plans for environmentally friendly development that is socially and economically viable.

BMUB as SEED Initiative partner

The SEED Initiative is based on a BMUB proposal. Since its launch, the initiative has gained the following partners in addition to the BMUB: UNEP, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWomen), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the foreign ministries of the USA and Spain, the environmental ministries of India and the United Kingdom, the agriculture ministry of the Netherlands as well as the European Commission, Conservation International and the South African Independent Development Trust. Since April 2013, the SEED Initiative has been based at Adelphi Research in Berlin. The BMUB will continue to support the initiative through IKI for the foreseeable future.