The Hivos Social Innovation Award 2014 – Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The Hivos Social Innovation Award 2014 – Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Deadline: November 9, 2014

Hivos invites individuals, organisations and companies from Asia, Africa and Latin America to share their most innovative ideas and best practices that contribute to more open, democratic and green societies. Do you have a smart and powerful idea? Do you have a green and daring idea? Send it in for the 2014 Hivos Social Innovation Award.

About Hivos

Hivos is an international organisation looking for new solutions to intractable global problems. Addressing the major challenges to the future of people and the planet requires new ideas. In the face of persistent inequality, an unsustainable economic system and threats to freedom and dignity, Hivos is continuously looking for new ways, new practices and new alliances that will contribute to systemic change.

This year, Hivos is launching its first Social Innovation Award. The award is meant to encourage new solutions for social change by supporting innovative ideas and practices which expand and defend freedom or create productive ecosystems that sustain human progress.

Award Categories

The Hivos Social Innovation Award has two categories:

  • A prize for a promising innovative idea that needs support to develop into a prototype.
  • A prize for a proven innovative approach that needs support to scale up and increase impact.

Prizes and Benefits

Both awards entail a €15,000 prize which must be invested in further developing the concept.

  1. The first category award consists of a € 5,000 prize and a coaching trajectory worth € 10,000 to develop the idea into a prototype.
  2. The second category prize is intended as an investment in scaling proven approaches within the next two years.

The semi-finalists are selected online by the public together with Hivos. They will participate in the Hivos Learning Community from 1st to 17th December, an interactive learning trajectory that will enable them to elaborate their proposal. The two-week programme will be offered to you online, and will include webinars, open interactive discussions with peers and experts and guidance for improving your submission. A unique programme is tailor made by the Dutch social innovation hub Kennisland.

Six finalists will get the opportunity to pitch their proposals in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The travel (including visa) and accommodation costs for their participation in the ceremony (in principle one person per entry) will be covered by Hivos.


  • Hivos is looking for new solutions for social change by supporting innovative ideas and practices that contribute to achieving open and green societies.
  • The innovations are to expand and defend freedom or create productive ecosystems that sustain human progress.
  • The competition is open only to persons, organisations or companies from Asia, Africa or Latin-America that are in need of encouragement, as you currently do not have the resources, networks or space to develop your idea or practice further.
  • They are open to ideas and proposals from all sources and sectors and all types of organisations including for-profit and not-for-profit.

You can enter the competition if:

  • you have an innovative idea or practice;
  • this idea or practice contributes to more open and/or green societies;
  • you are a citizen of an Asian, African or Latin-American country or your organisation or business is located in this country;
  • you are in need of encouragement, as you currently do not have the resources, networks or space to develop your idea or practice further;
  • your are able to fulfill your application, full proposal and presentation in English;
  • you are in a state of health good enough to travel to the Netherlands and to enter the competition;
  • you are available to participate in the Hivos Learning Community and the Awards if selected
  • you are at least 21 years old on 15 October 2014;
  • you are in the possession of a valid passport and eligible for a visa to the Netherlands;
  • you are insured for travel and health concerns.

Employees and staff of Hivos and individuals working on the competition are not eligible to win a prize.

Judging Criteria

The jury will select finalists and winners using the following criteria:

  • Quality of the entry
  • Potential for (social) impact (market, growth, financial potential)
  • Innovation factor
  • Potential for sustainability: likeliness that the project can be sustained and continue to have significant impact beyond the lifetime of the competition
  • For a proven concept: proven potential for scaling up/out within 2 years
  • For an idea: potential to be implemented within 2 years
  • Need of encouragement
  • Share the mission and working method of Hivos

How to Apply

The application process is simple:

  1. Read the terms and conditions and FAQ documents
  2. Complete the online entry form
  3. Submit the form between 15 October and 9 November 2014 (24.00 CET)
  4. Collect votes for your idea by sharing your project via social media in your network (deadline 23 November 2014)

The deadline for the first round of submissions is 9 November 2014. The Award Ceremony will be on 5 February 2015.

For more information and to apply, visit Hivos Social Innovation Award.