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.

dlight_young child in sweater vest

“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).


What We’re Learning Every Step of the Energy Ladder

Over the last decade, Acumen has invested roughly $20 million in 18 social enterprises in East Africa, India and Pakistan to build the largest portfolio of off-grid energy companies serving the poor. Working across every step of the energy ladder, these social enterprises have provided tens of millions with access to energy and helped them to save more than $1.7 billion in energy-related expenses while offsetting more than four million tons of CO2. [Read More]

Forbes 400 Honors Acumen Founder and CEO, Jacqueline Novogratz, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship

On Thursday, Forbes hosted its fifth annual Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy under the theme “Moonshots—Big Bets for Social Change.”  The exclusive event brought together 200 of the world’s leading philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and business leaders for a critical discussion on how to apply wealth and resources to solve today’s most intractable problems. Forbes turned the lens on the audacious thinkers, entrepreneurs, inventors and scholars who are proposing and initiating these radical ideas, creating philanthropic solutions to change our world. Royal Bank of Canada was a presenting sponsor, and McKinsey & Company was the Knowledge Partner. [Read More]