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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.

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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).

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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]

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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]

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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]