Acumen Blog

slideshow-quality.png

COCA-COLA INVESTS IN WATERHEALTH INTERNATIONAL’S MODEL

The Coca-Cola Company and Acumen investee WaterHealth International (WHI) recently announced their plan to bring safe drinking water to 1 million school children through their Child With Water (CWW) program. Together, the partners aim to deliver 500 million liters of safe drinking water a year to 1 million school children in 2,000 schools in developing countries by the end of 2015. Safe drinking water will be delivered to school children through water purification systems installed, operated and maintained by WaterHealth International and the first installations will begin in May 2014.

The Coca-Cola Company also announced it has taken a minority equity ownership in WaterHealth International. WHI is a world leader in decentralized water purification, currently operating more than 500 water purification plants in five countries providing sustainable safe drinking water access to about 5 million people. The investment by Coca-Cola will further support the scale up of WaterHealth’s sustainable model to provide safe water to underserved communities and accelerate the placement of new WaterHealth Centers and CWW programs globally.

WHI-Feature-1

“Safe water is critical for all. It’s vital to the health of people and communities, it’s essential to economic prosperity, and it’s the lifeblood of our business,” said Bea Perez, Chief Sustainability Officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “Through the Child With Water program, we can help keep children hydrated, active and healthy so they can thrive in school and in their communities. We believe this program has the potential to help transform communities through safe water consumption, safe water handling and safe hygiene practices. WaterHealth International is an ideal partner to implement the program because of their proven model and capability of providing safe water to communities. The results will have a lasting impact on the communities we serve.”

“We are very pleased to join Coca-Cola in this initiative. This is further validation that the WaterHealth approach is the world’s leading model for sustainably providing safe drinking water,” said Sanjay Bhatnagar, President & CEO, WaterHealth International. “The Child With Water program has a critical focus on water quality, reliable operations and hygiene education. WHI is in a unique position to implement the program due to the size and breadth of our existing footprint. Partnering with a visionary company like Coca-Cola enables us to have a greater impact and further our mission to provide clean water to the millions who have spent a lifetime waiting for it.”

Coca-Cola is actively partnering with WHI for safe water access projects in West Africa through its Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN). CWW supports Coca-Cola’s commitment to replenish the water used in its beverages by 2020, and its continued commitment to fostering sustainable communities globally.

Comments

Welcoming Naeem Zamindar as Acumen’s new Pakistan Director

We are pleased to announce Naeem Zamindar as Acumen’s new Pakistan Country Director. Naeem joins Acumen from his consulting company, Zamindar Capital, which he founded in 2009 to help companies leverage technology to accelerate social and economic development. His 25-year career combines experience in venture capital with multiple high-level operational and leadership roles. Naeem worked at Intel Capital in Silicon Valley, helping build companies in the digital, new media and wireless broadband space. In Pakistan, he was CEO of Wateen Telecom, where he engineered a turnaround, taking the company from losing $2 million per month to generating $1 million positive cash flow over a matter of three years. He was also a founding member of Pakistan’s leading telecom company Mobilink and, as its Chief Strategy Officer, built a nationwide fiber-optic network through the acquisition of four companies that now form Mobilink’s broadband division. [Read More]

Catalyzing the Growth of Social Enterprises with SAP

To accelerate the growth of our social enterprises in East Africa and India, we have joined forces with global business software leader SAP. Leveraging SAP’s technology and global business expertise, this unique collaboration will bring together Acumen entrepreneurs working in different sectors and countries to deepen their business capabilities and expand access to solutions to help them address global poverty. [Read More]

Dispatch from Pakistan: Hope in Place of Fear

There is fear in the streets of Pakistan. I sit in traffic, just a few hundred feet from my hotel where my next meeting is scheduled. I could arrive at my destination in five minutes if I walked, but it is not advised to walk. On the right side of my car, four men pointing automatic weapons stand in the back of a police van. Just in front is a black SUV with four commandos in the back, each with AK-47s, I think, though I’m no expert in guns. Let’s just say they are very big and look very menacing. A few cars to the left is another gun-filled vehicle pushing other cars out of its way, presumably to join the caravan of the armed. Sirens are wailing. [Read More]

ANNOUNCING A NEW INVESTMENT, FIRST ACCESS

Acumen announces its new investment in First Access, a data analytics company improving access to formal financial services for low-income East African communities. In East Africa, only 22 percent of the population has access to formal financial services with the region’s poor having even less at 10 percent. First Access presents an opportunity to increase the ability of these low-income communities to save, manage risk responsibility, invest in such critical services as education, and ultimately rise out of poverty. [Read More]

ANNOUNCING THE 2015 PAKISTAN FELLOWS

Acumen is proud to announce the selection of our third cohort of Pakistan Fellows. After a competitive application process, we’ve chosen a diverse group of 20 leaders working in provinces across the country. This year’s Fellows are fighting poverty and changing lives across Pakistan through unique initiatives that range from advocating for vulnerable prisoners’ rights, to creating solutions to address low-quality education, to developing branchless banking channels for low-income customers, and more. Read more about each Fellow and their inspiring work below. [Read More]

Lean Data Goes Deeper

One of the most interesting questions we’re grappling with right now on the Impact team at Acumen is how to develop a more robust, rigorous, and transparent form of quantifying the social value our companies create. While I don’t believe we will ever fully understand all the social value created – and while there will always be room for debate and interpretation – I do think today we have the tools to get a lot closer to customers and hear how they value products. [Read More]

ANNOUNCING THE 2015 INDIA FELLOWS

Acumen is proud to announce the selection of our second cohort of India Fellows. After a competitive application process, we’ve chosen a diverse group of 20 leaders working in 13 states. This year’s Fellows are fighting poverty and changing lives across India through unique initiatives that range from providing affordable menstrual hygiene products to marginalized women, to making quality education available to children in conflict zones, to designing innovative sanitation solutions for the urban poor, and more. Read more about each Fellow and their inspiring work below. [Read More]