From Innovation to Imitation: Register now for the 2016 SEED Africa Symposium

How can we successfully replicate green and inclusive business models to foster a growing green economy in Africa? Around 500 entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, policy makers and civil society representatives will discuss this matter at the 2016 SEED Africa Symposium. Registration is now open.


Social and environmental enterprises constitute a critical private sector-led solution to many of the sustainable development challenges facing communities in Africa. Many successful social enterprises have frequently demonstrated how to tackle local challenges relating to clean energy, climate friendly agriculture, waste, and recycling whilst at the same time raising living standards and creating new opportunities for women and young people. How do we capitalise on this success and replicate proven business models to increase the sector’s size and impact?

This challenge will be put centre stage at the 2016 SEED Africa Symposium on 28-29 September. The symposium is an annual multi-stakeholder forum for the mutual exchange of knowledge and experiences. Around 500 representatives from enterprises, politics, civil society, and funding institutions are expected to meet in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss and develop partnerships and innovative solutions for fostering green growth and eco-entrepreneurship in Africa. The slogan for this year’s symposium is "From Innovation to Imitation. Replicating Successful Business Models for Green Growth and Sustainable Development".

Registration is now open. For further information about the speakers, the programme and the conference venue, please visit Follow SEED on Twitter and Facebook and keep yourself posted. The official hashtag is #SEEDAS16.

This year’s focus: How can successful green and inclusive business models be replicated?

Replication can help to create a vibrant private sector and growth throughout Africa, but will require stakeholders to work together to ensure that key stumbling blocks like financing, differing regulations, and intellectual property issues are addressed.

The SEED Africa Symposium 2016 will look to tackle questions such as: How to unlock capital for replication, given that funds and investors currently strongly focus on innovation? How to standardize business processes to implement best practices in new locations while also considering unique local or regional conditions? Which roles do an enterprise’s human aspects, such as culture and employees, play in relation to technical components such as revenue models and products? How can we best address intellectual property rights issues arising from replication activities?

Highlights of the 2016 SEED Africa Symposium

As in previous years, the SEED Africa Symposium 2016 will feature various interactive sessions and inspiring panel debates providing valuable insights and a platform for controversial questions as well as ground-breaking solutions. Furthermore, a new round of the established SEED Investor Dialogue will foster fruitful connections between impact investors and entrepreneurs.

A highlight of this two-day conference will be the SEED Award Ceremony 2016. In three different award categories, outstanding start-up enterprises will be honoured for their innovative, sustainable and scalable approaches to social and environmental challenges. This year, social and environmental companies from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, and Uganda can apply for up to 15 SAG-SEED Awards, supported by the SWITCH-Africa Green project. Also, up to four enterprises from Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia will be awarded with the SEED Africa Awards, supported by the Government of Flanders (Belgium). The SEED Gender Equality Award will be awarded to one enterprise that is led or owned by women and specifically promotes gender equality and women’s empowerment in Kenya.

The award winners will also be showcased at the SEED South-South Exhibition among further innovative, locally-driven, entrepreneurial approaches to sustainable development challenges offered by social and eco-enterprises from across the continent. In addition, a new round of the established SEED Investor Forum will provide impact investors and entrepreneurs with an ideal environment for fruitful connections and establishing collaborations.

adelphi is the hosting partner of SEED, a global partnership for action on sustainable development and the green economy founded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Visit for further information.