08 December 2020

The Eastern Cape hosted its first regional conference climate change themed ‘Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for Climate Change Adaptation in rural communities’ with a focus on eco-inclusive and climate smart entrepreneurship. The seminar was attended by Mr Nicholas Bosscher, the Deputy General Representative of Government of Flanders at the East London Internal Convention Centre on 02 – 03 December 2020. 

The decision to host this seminar was made following a risk and vulnerable assessment conducted by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, through their recently established Unit for Climate Adaptive Capacity Facility.

The assessment flagged the Eastern Cape Province as one of the provinces in South Africa that will be mostly affected by the effects of climate change in the near future due to the fact that the Eastern Cape is a rural and a coastal province with a carbon and energy-intensive economy and this heightens its vulnerability to climate change related impacts.

These findings therefore raised the urgency for government and private sector to partner and have dialogues around the challenges and opportunities for Climate Adaptation Policy and financing instruments. In response to this call, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) partnered with Indalo Inclusive in 2018, a non-profit company that is involved in the environmentally and socially conscious enterprise development.

“The objective of the partnership is to roll out the climate smart and inclusive enterprise development programme focused on climate adaptation. This is implemented through the support of the Government of Flanders through Entrepreneurship for a Climate-Smart Inclusive Green Economy Programme (ECSIGE) which among others uses the SEED Tools for supporting eco-inclusive entrepreneurship. Indalo Inclusive is the hosting partner of SEED South Africa.

SEED was founded in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)” says Ndzondelelo Dlulane, ECDC Chief Executive Officer.

Dlulane further says, “the regional seminar builds, supports and promotes the eco-inclusive entrepreneurship in the province; it calls on provincial entrepreneurial ecosystem players to engage on strategies for incorporation and strengthening of eco-inclusive and climate smart entrepreneurship into mainstream enterprise development support initiatives, including those that are led by the ECDC; and facilitate engagement among research, non-profit, private and government institutions with an objective of developing strategic interventions that seek to identify challenges and opportunities for Climate Adaptation Policy and financing instruments”.

Through ECSIGE, the ECDC Business Advisors were trained with SEED tools and this resulted in four of the business advisors being fully certified to use SEED toolkits for training and mentorship. Prior to this, Indalo Inclusive was already working with the ECDC in the implementation of some of the SEED activities.

This initial work through Indalo Inclusive and SEED Global (hosted by Adelphi Research) resulted in 228 enterprises benefitting from the programme between 2018 and 2019. The SEED Programme included an implementation of the SEED-ECDC Replicator Connect Workshop and SEED-ECDC Starter workshops in Queenstown, Mt Ayliff, Port Elizabeth, East London and Idutywa. The intention of these workshops is to build long term and sustainable enterprises which will, in the long run, be able to operate on their own with little or no support from the state or state-owned institutions.

When the programme was initiated in the Eastern Cape in 2018/19, the Starter workshops trained 73 individuals and 57 enterprises with 44 women and 15 youth while the Replicator Connect workshops trained a total number of 218 individuals with 171 enterprises, about 106 were women and 26 were youth. The total investment amount made to ensure that the programme was a success amounted to R 948 530.  

In the current financial year, the programme focuses on Replicable Business Exposure workshops where a minimum of 60 individuals have been trained over a period of two days with 15 enterprises proceeding to participate in the Indalopreneur Starter Workshop.

Out of those 15 enterprises five were given a grant of R16 000 each after presenting their viable eco-inclusive business plans. The grant will assist each of the enterprises to implement their immediate needs to grow their business models. 

These enterprises are: Urban Fresh represented by Thina Mazonda from East London; SD Farming represented by Sinethemba Dleke from Flagstaff; Kenani Innovations represented by Silumko Mbelu from Port St Johns; Wavey Rides Car Wash represented by Nomfaneleko Dalindyebo from Mthatha; and Ipha Fresh Produce represented Nandipha Mabindisa from Mthatha.    

At the end of the seminar, all the participants walked away understanding their role in building an ecosystem for climate change adaptation and being able to identify climate change adaptation challenges and mapping solutions within a rural context. 

Issued by the Eastern Cape Development Corporation 

For media enquiries contact:

Nobulali Myataza
ECDC Spokesperson
Tel: 043 704 5610
Cell: 064 850 8655

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