Main content

Access to Finance

The importance of finance is based on the assumption that people who have access to loans, savings products, payment services and micro-insurance can make a living, utilize their talents, create employment, innovate and scale. An accessible and well-functioning financial framework with different types of finance, forms an important foundation for building a solid local economy and is essential for SMEs to scale their impact. Hivos is involved in providing knowledge, linkages and actual finance for all stages of the entrepreneurial cycle (ranging from startup to maturity stage), thereby contributing to a key building block conducive for the resilience and growth of enterprises: facilitating access to finance.


Crowdfunding is most often used by startup companies or growing early stage businesses as a way of accessing alternative funds. It is an innovative way of sourcing funding for projects, businesses or ideas. It can also be a way of cultivating a community around your offering. By using the power of the online community, you can also gain useful market insights and access to new customers. In the Disrupt!-trainings we explain SMEs about different types of crowdfunding (i.e. Peer-to-peer lending, rewards-based crowdfunding, donation-based crowdfunding, profit-sharing, debt-securities crowdfunding and hybrid models), how to access them and opportunities via crowdfunding platforms.


Grant funding (convertible grants) is distributed under the Hivos training program (Disrupt! training methodology), in order to support early stage enterprises that are not yet economically viable but score high on impact and potential. The grantee is required to account for spending the money, as well as be open to convert the investment into equity during a first round of investments.

Impact investment

Impact investing regards the allocation of capital into enterprises and/or organizations with the expectation of a financial return and a positive socio-cultural and/ or environmental impact to spur the growth of sustainable and inclusive businesses.

Hivos-Triodos Fund

Hivos-Triodos Fund was set up in the early 1990’s with the aim of contributing to sustainable socio-economic development via access to financial services. Until 2016, Hivos-Triodos Fund financed microfinance institutions that provide financial services to people in the lower income strata of society. Since 2015, Hivos-Triodos Fund started investing more and more directly in companies and organizations active in sustainable agriculture and/ or renewable energy.

Hivos Impact Investments

Hivos Impact Investments is an impact investment management company that operates impact funds aligned with the philosophy of the Hivos Foundation – creating impact as well as the essential financial return. There are two funds under management: the Hivos Mideast Creatives Fund and the Hivos Food & Lifestyle Fund Africa.

Other investors and networks

Working with investors and impact investment networks is important for the investment continuum, and contribution to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the funding of green entrepreneurs. Our training events and pipeline of businesses are open to all investors and investor networks that have an interest in our program and affiliated SMEs. Networks Hivos Impact Investments is active in include Toniic, ANDE and EVPA. Hivos Foundation also works closely with donor programs that may allocate additional funding for SMEs.

Investor deal-making

Fundraising success of entrepreneurs often hinges on a combination of the screening process, assistance in investment readiness and additional business support (including pitch-training, business plan development and valuation). However, in many cases, the investor herself/ himself also needs to be taken by the hand. Matchmaker platforms and physical matchmaking during Disrupt!-training events allow entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses for investors and venture capitalists to see. The rationale is that the more visible an entrepreneur is, the greater the chances of attention of interested investors.