Hivos website

We are hivos

people unlimited

Hivos seeks new and creative solutions to persistent global problems; solutions created by people taking their lives into their own hands.

We enable frontrunners

to inspire others


Step one

We engage game-changing pioneers and frontrunners who inspire others. We have a keen eye for these innovators and offer them a platform, connect them to different networks, and provide start-up funding and training.

We take 



Step two

We organize multi-actor platforms, ‘coalitions of the willing’ that are able to transform ideas into solutions and help them grow and spread. We finance programs, ensure good monitoring and evaluations, and incorporate lessons learned into future programming.

We influence policies 

and scale solutions


Step three

We bring solutions to scale by influencing policies at all levels of government and by triggering media interest in alternative solutions to persistent problems. We also scale out successful solutions to other countries and regions.

Pioneering Microfinance

Granting loans, instead of giving to the poor, was a radical idea in the late sixties. Hivos' first director, an economist, recognized its potential for development. He was convinced that lending money would enable people to make their own choices and that it acknowledges their potential to do so. To this day, we are always on the lookout for innovative ways to finance social change. 

Pioneering ICT

In the earliest days of the internet, Hivos realized its potential to give people access to information. In 1995, we became one of the first development organizations with a website. Soon thereafter, ICT was integrated into our work, first focusing on access to internet for all. Later on, our focus shifted towards using ICT and media to make everybody's voice heard, resulting in initiatives supporting digital and investigative journalism, online activism, tech hubs and the use of drones to monitor the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. 

Our mission is to innovate for social change. With smart projects in the right places, we work towards more open and green societies.

We are hivos
people unlimited