Since as far back as 1994, Hivos has been working in close partnership with Triodos Bank. This takes shape primarily in the Hivos Triodos Fund (HTF) and the North-South Savings Plan. HTF combines knowledge about banking and development processes: knowledge that is used for providing microfinance and other financial services. This is done by supporting microfinance institutions (MFIs), which provide credit to people that are normally not served by established banks.
HTF provides loans to MFIs that are already functioning well, while Hivos supports starting MFIs directly with seed capital and institutional strengthening, including training, improving systems, and rating. In 2011, 42 organisations were supported in this way. HTF is in the process of shifting its attention to rural areas as well as towards financing small and medium-sized enterprises. Hivos and Triodos bank also support producer organisations in for example the coffee sector through the Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund (TSTF). The loans provided by TSTF allow these organisations to enter export markets.
The capital for HTF originates from the savings of Dutch clients who place their money in North-South accounts with Triodos Bank. In 2011, the joint savings amounted to 93.2 million Euros.