30 Jun 2015 Press release Sustainable Development Goals

After 8 Years of Heading the Top Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award, Helen Maquard Steps Down

Nairobi, 30 June 2015 - After 8 years at the helm of the SEED, Helen Maquard finished her mission as the programme's Executive Director today. Under her leadership, SEED has evolved from a biennial awards scheme into a multi-component programme for action on sustainable development and the green economy.

SEED offers capacity building, financing, and technical support for small and medium start-up enterprises that deliver 'tripple bottom line' - social, environmental and economic - returns in developing countries or countries with emerging economies.

The SEED Awards, presented every year since 2005 to promising social and environmental enterprises are the central part of the programme and a major incentive for entrepreneurs in developing countries. Since its inception ten years ago and including this year's winners to be announced in September, SEED has helped over 200 companies to continue their path of sustainable development.

The programme is also active in providing insights to policy makers into the barriers to the advancement of eco enterprises and the factors facilitating their growth.

Allison Robertshaw is expected to take up the reins as the new Executive Director from 1 September. With years of experience in heading climate change focused foundations, she is bringing a fresh perspective and renewed enthusiasm to SEED.

"These have been 8 exhilarating and rewarding years, getting to know people working at the grassroots to build enterprises that will bring about positive social and environmental change, working with policy makers, enjoying the strong support of the SEED Board and Partners, and being part of a remarkably committed and energetic team. I thank them all", said Helen Marquard.

"Under the leadership of Allison Robertshaw, I foresee SEED being able to make a growing contribution to development that is sustainable," she added.

Helen Marquard will continue to be associated with SEED through taking up the position of SEED Chairman from 1 July. She takes over from Stephan Contius from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety who will remain Deputy Chairman of the Board.

See Helen's blog for some of her reflections about SEED.