Social and environmental entrepreneurs who can demonstrate innovation, leadership and sustainability have the chance to win expert assistance and support for their sustainable development initiatives in the 2011 SEED Awards. The SEED Initiative - hosted by the UN Environment Programme's World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) - is a global partnership for action on the Green Economy. The annual SEED Awards help to develop the most promising social and environmental start-ups in emerging economies and developing countries. SEED Award winners will receive expert advice on developing their business plans, take part in tailor-made workshops to enhance their skills and benefit from high-level profiling of their initiatives through the SEED Initiative's international network of businesses, governments and development institutions. By helping entrepreneurs to scale-up their activities, the SEED Initiative aims to boost local economies and tackle poverty, while promoting the sustainable use of resources and ecosystems. As in previous years, entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies across the globe can apply for a SEED award. In addition, as part of an EU funded project, specific awards will be made available to initiatives in seven pilot countries in Africa: Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa. This year, one special SEED Gender Equality Award will also be made available to initiatives that are women-led or owned, and prioritise gender equality or women's empowerment as a core objective. The full list of available 2011 SEED Awards is as follows:
- up to 14 awards for initiatives in South Africa;
- up to 20 awards for initiatives in Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal;
- and up to 5 awards, including the 2011 Gender Equality Award, for initiatives in other countries (except countries that are OECD members).