A Three-Year Investigation Into the Triple Bottom Line Performance of Small and Micro Social and Environmental Enterprises in Developing Countries

By Leslie Paas, Vivek Voora, Heather Creech, Ben Akoh on May 8, 2013

The SEED Initiative seeks to increase knowledge and understanding about small-scale social and environmental enterprises.

In 2009, SEED and its research partner, IISD, started a three-year study into the performance of these enterprises. The following set of documents presents the findings in the third and final year of the study.

Two key questions have driven the investigation: Is it possible to determine whether and how such enterprises are making a contribution to social, environmental and economic progress within their communities? And What are the enabling factors and barriers to making that contribution?

Findings from Year Three have been published in three parts:

  • The Synopsis presents the key data points and findings

  • Part 1 presents the findings from the survey of 2011 SEED applicants and winners, noting any variations with previous cohorts. It includes:

    • A gender analysis of the full Cohort, comparing responses from women-led enterprises to those led by men.

    • A focus on South African respondents, for SEED South Africa, the first national SEED program.

  • An analysis of the 2011 SEED Winners data, compared to the full Cohort.

  • Part 2 presents case studies on the progress of nine SEED Alumni from the time they received the SEED Award until 2012.

Report details

Responsible Business
Focus area
Act Together
IISD, The SEED Initiative
World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 2013