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Catching up with SEED Award winners and finalists: Oro Verde

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MO NDAY, 01 NO VEMBER 2010

Articles The

'green' gold

of 2009

SEED Award winner Oro

Verde has

garnered

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international press coverage and is currently in the process of acquiring the

Asses the performance and

The Colombian initiative Oro Verde are now

impacts of your enterprise

working with designers and distributors

with SEED's tools.

across the world, aiming to capture five per

Fairtrade and Fairmined labels.

cent of the fair gold jewellery market over the next 15 years. The label will be launched first

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in Britain, but already gold extracted with Oro

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Verde’s environmentally-friendly methods has

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reached eleven different countries.

about social and

Large-scale gold mining can be highly destructive. Miners often use unethical

environmental entrepreneurs

labour and can damage natural environments through their use of aggressive

and their impacts on poverty

excavation techniques and substances such as mercury. So drastic was the

reduction.

environmental damage caused by the Zaragoza mine (near Buenaventura), a

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state of emergency has been declared in the region.

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Oro Verde, however, uses traditional panning techniques that are respectful towards the local environment. The profits made from the green gold are used to fund community development. It was this combination of environmentally-friendly and socially conscious attitudes that won Oro Verde a SEED Award in 2009 and has attracted almost two hundred rural Colombian families to the programme. Since receiving support from the SEED Initative, Oro Verde has enjoyed a high profile with international media coverage and is now working with Fairtrade jewellers all over the world. Visit Oro Verde's new website here and view their latest video below. Other footage about Oro Verde is available here Guest Author: Hannah Bass - Photos by Alejandro Cock and Kike Arnal

* To Note: with regard to the Fair-trade and Fair-minded certification, Oro Verde was still in the process of acquiring those two labels at the time the SEED newsletter Issue 5 was published, rather than having already received it.

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Behind the scenes: An interview with the SEED Jury

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TUESDAY, 02 NO VEMBER 2010

Articles ‘The courage and determination of local entrepreneurs really inspires and

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motivates me,’ says Kofi Nketsia-Tabiri, reflecting on his time on the SEED Award

Asses the performance and

As this year’s winners celebrate their success,

impacts of your enterprise

the jury will also be celebrating – and

with SEED's tools.

breathing a collective sigh of relief – as the

jury.

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results of their hard work and tough decisions

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come to life. Towards the end of a hectic

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your username?

month, we caught up with the jury for a little insight into the SEED Awards.

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The jury draws people from across the corporate, charitable and governmental

about social and

sectors - from law firms to development NGOs, from the UK to Kenya to the

environmental entrepreneurs

Philippines.

and their impacts on poverty

surprisingly unanimous when asked what makes an application stand out.

reduction.

Akahloun is looking for ‘a project that involves its community - especially the most

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Despite the diverse expertise reflected in the jury, they are Leila

disenfranchised - and implements locally relevant, culturally appropriate strategies

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to reach its objectives.’ reflect

a

well-thought

Brian Milder agrees that, ‘the strongest applications out

balance

of social, environmental and financial

objectives.’ It’s

that

intersection

where

business

meets

social and

environmental

responsibility – which makes the SEED Awards unique, but Leila points out that it’s ‘SEED’s support of start-up and launch phase innovations’ which make the awards vital. ‘SEED is taking a risk in investing in promising development projects at a point where it is often critical for their success.’ Richard Lewis is keen to stress the impact that this bold approach can have: ‘There are many others working in this sector but none take on board the challenges and risks of those starting out. SEED is unique in searching for niche examples of start-up sustainable social enterprises and working with them patiently to build their confidence and ability.’ ‘To apply SEED’s particular knowledge and expertise in Africa, where there is so much potential,’ Richard continues, ‘is inspired.’ The jury hope that the 2010 focus on Africa will be part of an imminent turning point for the continent. Brian believes that the type of development recognised by SEED will be ‘key to sustained economic growth and social development in Africa.

SEED’s focus on Africa at a

time when the continent is reshaping its global image will attract attention and investment to business models that are rooted in communities and respectful of the environment, as opposed to those that extract resources and export profits abroad.’ Leila describes SEED as ‘an excellent networking organisation,’ meaning that the impact the SEED Award has on its winners is long-lasting and, it is hoped, helps to shape the future of the regions it touches. For the jury, the experience of SEED is also not one that they are likely to forget.

Kofi captures the sense that the

transformation of businesses and lives makes the jury’s hard work worthwhile. He says, ‘to be able to help these entrepreneurs realise their dreams is an honour'.

Guest author: Hannah Bass Published in Interviews

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Announcement: Meet the 2010 SEED Winners!

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W EDNESDAY, 03 NO VEMBER  2010

Articles The SEED  Initiative  is  thrilled  to  announce  its 2010  SEED  Award Winners!  From bamboo  bicycles  to  fly-fisheries,  from  businesswomen’s  collectives  to inspired

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youth, these  entrepreneurs  are  building  a  more  sustainable  world, starting in

Asses the performance and

their own communities.

impacts of your enterprise

Amongst the  initiatives  who  will  now receive

with SEED's tools.

from SEED  a  package  of  tailor-made  support are  initiatives  making  great  strides  in solar energy, 

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biofuel,

organic

farming, waste

disposal, recycled craft and tourism.  This year saw 

exciting

enterprises

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particularly in

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agriculture.   The  2010  focus  on  Africa shone

about social and

the spotlight on over 26 African initiatives and

environmental entrepreneurs

with support from SEED they can now scale-up

and their impacts on poverty

their activities across the continent.

reduction.

Choosing winners  was  tough,  with  applications  from  almost 60  countries,  but

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those selected  ‘exemplify  the  Green  Economy,’  says  UNEP  Executive Director

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Achim Steiner.    The  winners  prove  that,  with  a  little  creativity,  a  commitment to your  local  environment  and  tackling  poverty  in  your  community  can  be  part  of business. Click here to read the full press release   Published in News Rate this item  

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Articles written for the SEED Initiative  

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