Acumen Blog

How two Acumen Fellows are disrupting the education model in India

Whether its running youth soccer programs, providing vocational training services, or transforming the education system in India, Acumen India Fellows are driving real change in their communities.  Abbas Dadla and Abhilasha Sinha are India Fellows who are addressing the teacher shortage in India through the use of technology and peer collaboration. Find out what they are building below.  If you have grit, resilience and a commitment to creating change in your community in India, East Africa or Pakistan, we encourage you to apply for the Regional Fellowship Program! [Read More]

No, not silence again!

The Acumen Fellowship’s Cambridge Leadership Associates (CLA) training is notorious for digging deep, breaking Fellows down to reveal their deepest fears, identifying the sources of resilience that will fuel them with the tenacity to continue along the path to social change. Kahabi G. Isangula is an East Africa Regional Fellow living in Tanzania and recently participated in our CLA training. Get an idea of what it is like, below!  [Read More]

Announcing the Class of 2015 Acumen Global Fellows

Acumen Global Fellows are architects for the impact sector. They are innovators, game changers, visionaries, with various professional experiences looking to make substantial change in the world. They have thrived in companies such as Google; they have started their own companies in Sri Lanka, Canada and Malaysia.  They are choosing the challenge of working alongside our portfolio companies and immersing themselves in a rigorous leadership training. [Read More]

Welcoming Ajit Mahadevan as Acumen India Country Director

We are pleased to announce that Ajit Mahadevan will be joining Acumen as India Country Director. Ajit joins Acumen from Ernst & Young, where he has served as Advisory Partner & Leader (Life Sciences) for the past six years.  At EY, he was a strategic advisor to the leadership of some of the leading Indian and global life science and healthcare players with the focus being business transformation and growth.  Prior to his time at E&Y, Ajit was President of Piramal Healthcare, one of the leading pharmaceuticals companies in India, where he built the international business from inception in 2002 to $300M by the end of 2008. Ajit held multiple leadership roles across strategy, M&A and business leadership. During his tenure at Accenture’s Strategic Services practice in UK and India, he led the development of one of the firm’s largest and most successful internal projects – the Offshore Development Centre in 2001, which has now grown to about 100,000 people across multiple cities in India. Ajit has worked in an advisory capacity to Acumen in the past, most recently participating in Regional Fellows selection panels in Mumbai. [Read More]

Acumen Joins Beyond the Grid as Founding Partner

Acumen is proud to be a founding partner of Beyond the Grid, an innovative framework under President Obama’s Power Africa initiative to increase energy access for underserved populations across sub-Saharan Africa. Beyond the Grid will leverage partnerships with investors and practitioners committing to invest over $1 billion into off-grid and small scale solutions for this underserved market. [Read More]

Shaiza Rizavi Joins Acumen’s Board of Directors

We are pleased to announce that Shaiza Rizavi has joined Acumen’s Board of Directors. Shaiza became a Partner at Acumen after reading The Blue Sweater and recognizing that “Jacqueline had an idea large enough to disrupt poverty.” She has been a hugely valuable member of our community over many years, sharing her insights and ideas, joining a trip to East Africa to visit our investee companies, mentoring a team through our +Acumen course in Karachi, and participating on Fellows selection panels. You can watch this short video of Shaiza at our Investor Gathering this past year, discussing her experiences and impressions of Acumen. [Read More]

Discussing Investment Philosophy with Zaffar Khan

In addition to being on Acumen Pakistan’s Advisory Council and Chair of Acumen Pakistan’s Board, Mr. Khan is also a member of Acumen’s Investment Committee, responsible for approving Acumen’s global investments. Mr. Khan also serves as Board Member of the Pakistan Center for Philanthropy. Previously, he has also served Chairman of PIA, KSE, and PTCL and President of Engro Chemicals Ltd. He sat down with us to discuss his investment philosophy, discussing what he looks for and common challenges he has seen. [Read More]

Highlighting our Incredible Pakistan Fellows

Acumen Regional Fellows are leaders tackling the most challenging social issues by starting with their own communities. This year’s Pakistan cohort brings together leaders from all over the country, addressing issues ranging from sex trafficking to the education of street children. With two seminars under their belts and three more to go, the Acumen Pakistan Fellows are mid-way through their Fellowship Year. Below, we check in with four of them to see how they’re using the skills from the program to help translate their vision into reality. [Read More]

Acumen and Plan 9: Investing in Tomorrow’s Social Entrepreneurs

In May, Acumen Pakistan partnered with Plan 9 to identify upcoming social entrepreneurs that are using technology to tackle society’s most pressing problems. Set up by the Government of Punjab, Plan 9 is a technology-focused incubator in Lahore that incubates 24 companies in 2 cycles each year. During each cycle, selected teams receive office space at Plan 9 as well as multiple training, mentor, and product review sessions.  [Read More]