Skip to main content

Claire Barnhoorn,
CEO Solvoz

December 17, 2021
Solvoz’ mission is to support procurement and planning for aid- and impact-driven organizations in both low- and middle-income countries. Simply by making the overall process that takes place at the local level more efficient and effective. How? By disseminating and publishing knowledge and making investments that benefit the local economies.

“I quit my job years ago because I believed that a systemic change was needed in our sector.”

5th March 2020 signing legal incorporation of Solvoz
Claire Barnhoorn of Solvoz, alongside her team, launched the prototype on 20 March 2020. The prototype has now become the first step towards this goal.

“We wanted to show what we can do. We also knew what to expect in the period after the initial lockdown during the COVID-19 epidemic. Knowing that support in this area was needed for two to three years, especially in the lower-middle-income countries, we knew that we could provide help quickly and scale up from there. We wrote a proposal that was then financed by FMO, the Philips Foundation, and the Dutch Family Fund. I am extremely proud of the team and what we have achieved together. The world needs to know who we are, what we stand for, and what we need to move forward.”

Who are you? What do you stand for? And what do you need to move forward?

“We have a strong focus on discrimination and localization in our sector and focus on supporting the Drivers of Change. However, we often see that funding mechanisms are not set up in such a way to support local organizations. And this is at the heart of why we do what we do. An example: How do you build a medical waste facility? What do I need when setting up a maternity ward? What problems and exceptional situations do we need to be prepared for? We look at the context in which these problems occur, what to consider, and then define the specifications of a product or service. It is outrageous that the knowledge about this lingers with the large international aid organizations or consultants. You obviously want that knowledge to be available to everyone.

My dream is for local organizations to have improved funding mechanisms. Cash flows to alleviate needs, worldwide, must be many times more efficient and effective. And I hope that we take the first steps in doing that with Solvoz. We are now at the point where we want to expand our sales, marketing, and support services. To do that, we need new partners, both in terms of knowledge and in terms of finance.”

What is Solvoz?

“Solvoz is a social enterprise, a unique e-procurement platform with an integrated open-access catalogue, working with the Solvoz Foundation. It is with these two entities that we position ourselves on the market. We offer solutions in a socially responsible way. It’s truly our mission to make this sector much more efficient and effective by spreading knowledge, because the needs are rising dramatically worldwide, because of crises and climate.

Many people underestimate the influence that NGOs have. The NGO sector is the fifth-largest economy in the world, there are ten million NGOs worldwide! Within humanitarian organizations, 65% of their budgets go to procurement and facilities, otherwise known as procurement activities. One of our focal points is the localization of aid and along with the Solvoz Foundation we are also an active lobbyist for open access knowledge.”

Claire in DRC at a hospital in Manono
What goal do you have in mind for your platform?

“The trend in this sector and among organizations is to think in terms of pillars most of the time, when in fact you should think holistically. Everything must be able to be scaled up instantly and efficiently, something we can support through our catalogue. Furthermore, workgroups can be initiated within Solvoz, each with its own personalized catalogue to spread that knowledge. In doing so, they contribute to what we need in this sector right now: open access knowledge. But not everything in our catalogue is a product. For example, we also have consultants who provide designs for medical waste units. This also provides solutions for certain situations that can be easily realized locally. It is important to look at the environment and situation, for example, the use of solar energy lights. We factor in every detail by considering what those lights are needed for: do kids need to walk to school with them in the dark or are they for use at home over the dinner table? These issues and choices are often not considered. On top of that, as is often the case now, in this example, each aid organization gets the lights from somewhere else. But it is impossible to collaborate in terms of use and recycling when there are twenty brands with various quantities with different suppliers and transportation with varied delivery times. Solvoz has products that meet certain criteria and those criteria match what is in demand. All those points, that web of needs and requirements, are combined and developed into a plan that provides the best solution for that situation. Solvoz is now a trust mechanism because we help define quality products and standard requirements on the one hand and have tremendous capacity on the other. We offer support, make knowledge available, and are highly efficient. All in a transparent way.”

Solvoz is looking for follow-on funding. Interested? Send an email to