Boosting Eco-Inclusive Enterprises for Climate Adaptation In Southern Africa

SEED South Africa Winner 2014: Botanica Natural Products

Southern Africa is one of the world’s most vulnerable regions when it comes to climate change. It is highly dependent on climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, tourism, fisheries and forestry. This means that climate change effects such as increasing temperatures or more frequent extreme weather events lead to multiple challenges. Together with weak economic opportunities, they adversely affect food production, access to water and the livelihoods of already vulnerable people – overall leading to a cycle of food insecurity and malnutrition. Eco-inclusive small and growing enterprises are well placed to contribute to climate change adaptation and resilience as they offer market-based solutions which help communities adapt to the effects of climate change. While the solutions developed by these eco-inclusive enterprises in the adaptation space are often more agile, innovative and entrepreneurial than larger corporations’ business models and thus well suited to effectively accelerate climate change adaptation, small and growing enterprises face challenges in building and scaling their business. Challenges include both internal issues (e.g. lack of business leadership or financial skills) as well as external conditions, including poor infrastructure and a lack of access to technology, knowledge, markets or financing.

Against this background, adelphi through the SEED programme will support eco-inclusive small and growing enterprises in the climate adaptation space in Malawi, Zambia and Botswana to increase the resilience of communities in the three target countries. With financial support from the Government of Flanders, a core partner of SEED, and building on SEED's longstanding experience supporting eco-inclusive entrepreneurship in Southern Africa and beyond, the project follows a comprehensive approach: it combines direct support programmes for enterprises at different stages of business development with innovative formats to build an enabling ecosystem. The direct enterprise support programmes comprise business model ideation activities targeting early stage enterprises as well as the identification of successful, innovative and locally led enterprises in the adaptation space and their empowerment towards scale-up and investment-readiness. Promoting an enabling ecosystem relates to the enhancement of skills and capacities of business development services (BDS) providers to offer high-quality, tailored BDS in the adaptation space as well as to the innovation of ecosystem solutions to strengthen eco-inclusive entrepreneurship for climate change adaptation. Moreover, the provision of a platform aims at convening ecosystem stakeholders for peer-learning and the creation of synergies, and showcasing the potential of eco-inclusive enterprises in the adaptation space will provide evidence-based recommendations to strengthen the ecosystem for climate adaptation enterprises.

adelphi is the host institution of SEED. In this capacity, it is responsible for the management and implementation of all parts of this project.