What is BaSE?:Our clients


The SEED Initiative was founded in 2002 by United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme and International Union for Conservation of Nature to contribute towards the Millennium Development Goals and the commitments made at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. SEED identifies, profiles and supports innovative, locally-driven start-up enterprises that integrate social, environmental and economic benefits into their business models at the outset. Based in countries with a developing or emerging ecomony, these enterprises work in partnership with multiple stakeholders to improve livelihoods, tackle poverty and marginalisation, and manage natural resources sustainably.

SEED also develops learning resources for the broad community of social and environmental entrepreneurs, informs policy- and decision-makers, and aims to inspire innovative, entrepreneurial approaches to sustainable development. Partners of the SEED Initiative, in addition to the Founding Partners, are the governments of Flanders, Germany, India, the Netherlands, South Africa, the United States of America; the European Union; Conservation International; Hogan Lovells; UNIDO and UN Women; and SEED’s corporate partner, Hisense.

The 2014 SEED Gender Equality Awards are largely supported by UN Women, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) which promotes inclusive and sustainable industrial development.  Additional support is provided by Hogan Lovells.

The 2014 SEED Gender Equality Award winners (by country) are:

Bangladesh: “JITA Social Business” is an innovative rural distribution network, providing jobs and a regular income for women from low socio-economic communities across Bangladesh. Called Aparajitas - meaning “women who never accept defeat" – the women earn commissions selling a range of products from solar lamps to food and sanitary items on a door-to-door basis.

Nepal: “Women’s Off-season Vegetable Production Group” is a women-led initiative growing and marketing organic vegetables in a climate where weather usually limits year-round production. The enterprise deploys agricultural techniques, notably poly-tunnels and greenhouses, to help improve food security and nutrition while empowering marginalised women through job creation.

Zimbabwe: “Precious Life Foundation’s Outgrower Project” teaches bio-intensive, organic agricultural techniques to vulnerable women living at its shelter who then pass on their knowledge to the community. The enterprise empowers these women as teachers while working towards improved food security in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland South Region. Women farmers who benefit from the training donate labour or produce back as a form of payment for service.