20 Years
of Avina

9 cases of innovation and transformation that have marked the past 20 years

Since it was founded in 1994, Avina has supported high-impact processes of social transformation in Latin America. Among the many initiatives in which the organization has been involved, we selected nine of them, on the basis of their innovative approaches, results, and scale, in order to paint a picture of the concrete contributions that Avina and its allies have made in the region.

Below you can read about some of the initiatives that Avina has supported over the past two decades, which today are continuing to evolve and transform Latin American society.

Social Entrepreneurs

The Ashoka Foundation empowers leaders

Avina contributed resources to Ashoka to expand its work in Latin America and incorporate hundreds of social leaders from the region into its network of fellows.

Corporate Social Responsibility

From concept to action

One of Avina’s first strategies was promoting Corporate Social Responsibility when the concept was not yet part of the mainstream business narrative. Avina helped to incentivize collaboration between different sectors via networks for joint initiatives between civil society and the business world.


Huge strides for small businesses

Hundreds of micro, small, and medium enterprises improved their management capacity thanks to training and assistance from FUNDES and the support of organizations like Endeavor and New Ventures.


SEKN: academic institutions working together to build a knowledge base for social enterprise

Avina helped establish the Social Enterprise Knowledge Network (SEKN) among Latin American business schools with the goal of incorporating content related to sustainability in their curriculum.

Inclusive Markets

Generating social wealth

Since 1996, Avina has promoted collaboration among several organizations involved in promoting inclusive businesses, creating investment funds to support small enterprises and supply chains, with the support of large companies.


From demanding a right to providing a public service

Thousands of Latin American recyclers have become organized, forming cooperatives and doing business directly with large companies as well as participating in the bidding process for municipal public waste management contracts, thanks to the Inclusive Recycling initiative that Avina has supported since the early 2000s.

Access to water

Solidifying rights to a liquid resource

In 2007, Avina recognized that thousands of community organizations responsible for managing local water resources needed support. In 8 years, millions of Latin Americans from the most vulnerable communities, towns, and small cities have gained access to water thanks to these organizations.

The Amazon

A river of sustainable municipalities

Avina has promoted a network of “Green Municipalities” in the Amazon biome, made up of hundreds of cities that are implementing concrete actions to preserve the environment and guarantee sustainable development in the Amazon rainforest.

Sustainable Cities

The Sustainable Cities Movement: the city as a public good

Foto © Leo Barizzoni

The strategy of the the Sustainable Cities Movement, which brings together large and small cities from the majority of Latin American countries, is centered on increasing citizen participation and fostering the social, political, and economic inclusion of groups that are typically excluded from decision-making processes, as well as promoting the accountability of city managers to the public.

We celebrated 20 years thinking about the next 20

For Avina, 2014 marked the close of a 20 year period of intense investment that positively impacted sustainable development in Latin America and beyond. During the past two decades, the major issues related to sustainable, fair, and inclusive development have grown in importance. At the same time, it has become clear that within Latin America there are solutions, leadership, and much to learn and build together that can benefit not only this continent but other regions of the world as well.


Photo © Giselle Galvão