This program has ended

With this program we want to help establish a business support and promotion structure for entrepreneurs who want to run sound businesses with a focus on social and/or environmental impact. Entrepreneurs who want to create sustainable jobs and incomes while protecting the environmental.

Why social entrepreneurship is so promising

Innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) run by entrepreneurs who want to benefit society and the environment have great potential. They are flexible enough to make the necessary shift towards more sustainable production and consumption. Starting such an enterprise also makes young women and men more independent, creates new jobs, and generates income. But while many agree on the importance and role of these enterprises, actual long-term support and opportunities for them remains patchy.

How we create a complete support network

Hivos’ Green Entrepreneurship program invests in a systematic approach that includes close collaboration with many actors. Like government agencies, local coworking spaces, universities, business support organizations, financial institutions and investors. By doing so, we co-create a support network that takes socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs from the start-up phase to becoming sustainable businesses with long-term impact. Our additional investment vehicles, Hivos Impact Investments and the Hivos Triodos Fund, provide finance to accelerate the growth of exceptional SMEs. This is how we prove the investment case that business with impact in emerging market countries is not a pipe dream.


Middle East and North Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia

Results so far

The program has already trained 25 local business support trainers, set up business support structures in Southern Africa and invested in a number of frontrunner SMEs, such as Lady Bonin, Green Fingers Mobile and L’Atelier du Miel.

Period and budget

2018-2020, €2.7 million in Southern Africa

Partners; incubators/ coworking spaces; government agencies; financial Institutions and (impact) investors; universities and research institutions