Back in the 1990s, Hivos took a bold step: cooperation with a bank. At the time, this was unusual for a development organization, but it made sense because of the resulting Hivos-Triodos Fund (HTF). Its mission is to create a sustainable, inclusive and green economy in emerging markets. The fund invests in scalable organizations, helps develop a financial sector that supports smallholder farmers, and enables access to clean, affordable energy for low-income households and SMEs.
Why early-stage impact investment is needed
Impact investments in early-stage, value-driven businesses are needed to switch to a sustainable, inclusive and green economy. Why? Long-term impact investments create lasting social and environmental benefits as well as economic returns. And there is a strong correlation between the health of the small business community, economic growth, and poverty alleviation. Moreover, small businesses are the engine of employment, contributing up to 85 percent of new full-time jobs in developing countries.
How the fund works
The fund offers financial inclusion and direct investments in SMEs as well as indirect investments through financial intermediaries. It focuses on SMEs in sustainable food and agriculture and (off-grid) renewable energy solutions for low-income households. From 2016-2020, HTF invested 70 percent of its funds in SMEs and 30 percent in MFIs and financial inclusion. In addition, the fund provides equity and (subordinated) debt to these enterprises with a long-term horizon and a range from EUR 250,000 to EUR 3 million. Its strategy for the future is laid out here by Fund Manager Karel Nierop.
Asia, Africa, Latin America, with a prime focus on sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Results so far
Since 1994, HTF has invested over EUR 200 million and helped millions of predominantly rural women access financial services. By end 2018, the fund had EUR 67 million outstanding in investments in 28 companies in 16 emerging markets worldwide, with 56 percent exposure in Africa, benefiting mainly rural, marginalized communities.
You can read a detailed account of the HTF’s results and its beneficiaries through 2019 here.
Read the 2018 Annual Report: Catalyzing green, inclusive growth: how Hivos-Triodos Fund made a difference in 2018
Period and budget
The Hivos-Triodos Fund was established in 1994. Fund size is EUR 75 million.
Hivos and Triodos Investment Management