UN Women and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are supporting the SEED Awards 2014 – an initiative that aims to help the most promising start-up entrepreneurs, women-led enterprises and other social and environmental inspiring businesses to integrate ideas and proposals to address pressing local issues.
This year, SEED looks to award enterprises which have made significant contributions to mitigating and/or adapting to climate change as well as enterprises which prioritize gender equality and/or are women-led or owned. Two awards are supported by UN Women and one by UNIDO.
Winners of the 2013 SEED Awards include a Ugandan a social enterprise that produces sanitary pads from natural agricultural waste materials with the objective of reducing absenteeism of schoolgirls in rural and poor communities while creating a women’s entrepreneur network through which the pads are distributed. In Namibia an awardee works to empower women entrepreneurs through a value-added fish and food processing facility that focuses on solar dried products that provide day-to-day food for rural and urban communities, proactively managing food security and reducing the economic gender gap. And a winner in Mozambique developed a mobile phone marketplace platform allowing informal and especially female cross-border traders to access price-related information, access an inventor, receive delivery status notifications and access credit on their mobile phones.