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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

UNIDO sponsors 2013 SEED Awards to support women entrepreneurs for sustainable development

VIENNA, 16 April 2013 – An opening call for applications for the SEED Gender Equality Awards 2013, sponsored by UN Women and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and supported by the international law firm Hogan Lovells, was made today.

Two enterprises run or owned by a woman or women, and which prioritize gender equality and/or women’s empowerment as a core objective, will be selected as award winners and will receive a package of tailored support services.

The SEED Award for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development, or SEED Award, is an annual awards scheme designed to identify and support the most promising and innovative social and environmental start-up enterprises in countries with developing and emerging economies. Since its inception in 2005, the SEED Award has been given to some 100 entrepreneurs in 41 countries.

In 2011, the SEED Gender Equality Award was introduced. The winner of the first Gender Equality Award was the Women Environment Preservation Committee in Nepal, with its Solid Waste Management and Community Mobilization Programme.

This year’s award winners will receive a financial contribution of US$5,000 but, unlike many other competitions, the SEED Awards do not only provide a monetary prize.

The SEED initiative’s experience working with social and environmental entrepreneurs has shown that, in many instances, such enterprises often require access to knowledge, expertise and especially to networks, as much as financial support. SEED therefore offers winners a range of business services, support and networks, including high level profiling, often with government officials, development institutions and businesses.

The two Gender Equality Award winners will, in addition, receive support from the international law firm, Hogan Lovells, which has an established pro bono practice advising women entrepreneurs across the world.

“Our sponsorship of the SEED Gender Equality Award offers a chance to integrate gender considerations more clearly into UNIDO’s Green Industry Initiative to promote industrial production and development that does not come at the expense of the health of natural systems or lead to adverse human health outcomes,” said Heinz Leuenberger, Director of UNIDO’s Environmental Management Branch,

“It will also help demonstrate that sustainable industrial development can and should be carried out with the empowerment of women in mind,” Leuenberger added.

An international jury of experts will select the two most promising and innovative women-led social and environmental start-up enterprises working in developing countries.


Click Opens external link in new windowhere for detailed eligibility criteria for applications for the 2013 Seed Awards.


The closing date for applications is 12 June 2013. Proposals that are shortlisted will be offered feedback and invited to submit additional information in July.

For media enquiries about the SEED Award, please contact Opens window for sending emailConstance Hybsier

For more information on UNIDO, please Opens external link in new windowcontact