Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, founder of Gorilla Conservation Coffee, the game-changing for-profit social enterprise which aims to improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers whilst at the same time protecting mountain gorillas in Uganda, has just been recognised by this year’s prestigious SEED Awards.
The SEED Awards for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development is an annual awards scheme designed to find the most promising, innovative and locally led start-up eco-inclusive enterprises in countries with developing and emerging economies. An independent SEED International Jury of experts selects enterprises which have the potential to make real improvements in poverty eradication and environmental sustainability while contributing to a greener economy. Ten years ago, five enterprises received the first SEED Awards. Since then a total of 202 innovative social and environmental start-up enterprises have been honoured with a SEED Award. This year’s awards saw 336 applications in total, with 245 online applications coming in from Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Mauritius. Winners receive a customised support package consisting of tools, capacity building, profiling and network building, all tailored to their individual needs.
Gorilla Conservation Coffee is a for-profit social enterprise aiming to improve livelihoods of coffee farmers and protect mountain gorillas in the area. GCCoffee buys coffee at a premium, processes and sells it as a branded roasted coffee, whose purchase includes a donation to Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH). GCCoffee pays a premium price to enable marginalised small-holder coffee farmers living in remote sub-counties bordering Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to improve their lives, which keeps them from resorting to damaging the forest through activities like poaching and removing resources like wood. This in turn helps protect the gorillas and their habitat.
GCCoffee also provides training and capacity building to farmers to improve sustainable agriculture practices. GCCoffee targets coffee drinkers and tourists via shops, tourist lodges, airports and international distributors to market and sell coffee. An online shop has also been launched, shipping to the UK with more countries coming on line shortly. To find out more go to http://gorillaconservationcoffee.org