Acumen Blog


d.light Leaders Named 2014 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year

We are thrilled for our portfolio company d.light and Donn Tice, Chairman and CEO, along with cofounders Ned Tozun, President, and Sam Goldman, Chief Customer Officer, for being named Social Entrepreneurs of the year 2014 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. d.light is a for-profit social enterprise that manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products with primary markets in the developing world, today announced that d.light, along with 37 other individuals and organizations in the 2014 class, will be fully integrated into the events and initiatives of the World Economic Forum.

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“We are honored to be recognized by the Schwab Foundation as the 2014 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year,” said Donn Tice, Chairman and CEO, d.light. “This award is a testament to the increasing role that social enterprises—which focus on market-based solutions to the biggest social challenges of our time—play in the world economy.” With the 2014 award, d.light joins the Schwab Foundation’s prestigious community of social entrepreneurs, which includes 250 people from 60 countries. Together, the foundation’s community of social entrepreneurs will participate in World Economic Forum initiatives, conversations shaping the future agendas of industries, and serve experts for the Forum’s Global Agenda Councils.


The Schwab Foundation award caps a recent series of recognitions for d.light’s outstanding leadership in social enterprise. Last week, d.light was named as a B Corp “Best for the World” company, based on overall global impact on community, workers and environment. As one of the first companies in the world to undertake the Global Impact Investment Rating System’s (GIIRS) d.light was named a Pioneer Company for a rigorous, independent assessment of social and environmental impact. In the last year, d.light was also acknowledged as a Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer (2013) and awarded the $1.5 million Zayed Future Energy Prize (2013).


Acumen and The International Center for Research on Women Call for Greater Gender Integration in Social Enterprises with New Report

Acumen and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) released a report today to encourage entrepreneurs, impact investors and philanthropists to consider new strategies for promoting gender equality through social enterprise. Produced in partnership with the Cartier Charitable Foundation, Women and Social Enterprises: How Gender Integration can Boost Entrepreneurial Solutions to Poverty reveals findings from several case studies from Acumen’s portfolio of investments, which demonstrate how social enterprises are engaging and impacting women and where they fall short. [Read More]


On a cold January afternoon in 2012, at Dow’s headquarters in Midland, Michigan, I sat at a large conference table with representatives from across Dow’s venture fund, foundation, sustainability team, and human resources department. This was the first meeting of its kind that I had attended with one of our corporate partners. I was unwittingly part of an emerging shift in how social change organizations and corporations are working together. A shift towards partnerships that align business growth objectives with social and environmental imperatives. [Read More]

Robert (Bob) Collymore of Safaricom Limited Joins Acumen’s Board Of Directors

Acumen announced today that Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom Limited, will join its Board of Directors. Collymore, who has been at the helm of the Kenyan communications company since 2010, previously sat on the Advisory Council of the nonprofit social venture fund founded by Jacqueline Novogratz. He has more than 30 years in the telecommunications sector working in Africa as well as Asia and Europe. [Read More]