Five South African start-up businesses win UN-supported award

SEED Symposium – The Role of Grassroots Entrepreneurs in the Green Economy in Africa


PRETORIA, South-Africa, March 28, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — With less than 100 days to the RIO+20 – UN Conference on Sustainable Development, outstanding social and environmental businesses, mainly from Africa, will meet in Pretoria, South Africa on 29 March 2012 to discuss their contribution to the Green Economy. The projects are all winners of the 2011 SEED Award, among them five South African start-up businesses. The Green Economy in the context of Sustainable Development is one of the overarching themes of the RIO+20 Conference.

From a company that transforms groundnut shells into fuel briquettes in The Gambia, an enterprise that has developed solar ovens in Burkina Faso and a business in South Africa where women are producing pickles using surplus fresh vegetables, the local start-up enterprises are playing their part in delivering sustainable goods and services in emerging economies, often amid difficult circumstances. The businesses are inspiring examples of Green Economy in action.

The SEED Initiative is a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the Green Economy. Founded by UNEP, UNDP and the International Union for Conservation of Nature at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, SEED supports innovative small-scale and locally driven entrepreneurshipsaround the globe which integrate social and environmental benefits into their business model.

Media invitation

Date and Time: Thursday, 29 March 2012, 9:00-17:00 (Symposium)

10:45-11:30 a.m. (Media briefing)

Venue: CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria.


Helen Marquard, Executive Director SEED Initiative

Agostinho Zacarias, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in South Africa

Nick Nuttall, Acting Director of Communications, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Mapula Tshangela, Director, Sustainable Development and Green Economy, Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa

Evelyne Namara, 2011 SEED Award winner (Uganda)

Claire Reid, 2010 SEED Award winner (South Africa)


Main Media Highlights

  • An interactive media briefing on 29 March 2012 from 10:45 to 11:30 to discuss the role of grassroots entrepreneurs in achieving sustainable development in Africa. Experts will brief journalists on, among other topics: Green Economy in Africa, renewable energy powering growth in Africa and its role in adapting to climate change, addressing food security in Africa.
  • Opportunities for one-on-one interviews with the SEED winners and UN and sustainable development experts.
  • 2011 SEED Award winners ceremony.




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