SEED Gender Equality Award

The SEED Gender Equality Award identifies and supports promising small-scale start-up social and environmental entrepreneurs around the globe; entrepreneurs that while working towards a greener economy also tackle poverty, marginalization and social exclusion. SEED provides these entrepreneurs with know-how and networks, taking the lessons learned at local level up to decision-makers to promote efficient policymaking for the green economy.

In 2013, the SEED Gender Equality Award was for the first time sponsored by UNIDO and UN Women, and supported by the international law firm Hogan Lovells. The SEED Gender Equality Award is given to promising social and environmental enterprises that are run or owned by a woman or women, and prioritize gender equality and/or women’s empowerment as a core objective of their business. On top of receiving a financial contribution of US$5,000, winners are offered the opportunity to take part in tailored workshops to enhance their skills, as well as the chance to interact with an international network of businesses, governments and development institutions. The selected entrepreneurs also gain support from Hogan Lovells, which has an established pro bono practice advising women entrepreneurs across the world.

The 2013 winners were both enterprises from Latin America: L.O.O.P. (Peru) and Provokame (Colombia). L.O.O.P or Life Out Of Plastic is a 100% women-owned organization that designs and sells green products such as reusable bags and fleece made from rPET fibre, a textile derived from bottle recycling. Provokame produces innovative 100% biodegradable plates, made from natural fibres and recycled paper, which are also implanted with seeds. The enterprise trains and employs local women living in rural areas in the plate production process.

In the 2014 cycle, 3 SEED Gender Equality Awards, are made available for enterprises in countries that are not OECD or EU members and that are run or owned by a woman or women and prioritize gender equality and/or women’s empowerment as a core objective.

In addition to the above criteria, enterprises also need to:

  • Demonstrate entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Deliver economic, social and environmental benefits
  • Have the intention and potential to become financially sustainable
  • Be a partnership between different stakeholder groups
  • Be locally driven or locally led
  • Have potential for scale up or significant replication
  • Be in the early stages of implementation
  • Be in a country with a developing or emerging economy.  

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 8 April 2014.

For more information about the award and on how to apply, please visit