Acumen, Dow and Unilever Support Social Enterprises Across East and West Africa Through Technical Assistance Initiative

Acumen, together with The Dow Chemical Company and Unilever, launched its third annual Collaboration Summit in Nairobi today. Bringing together Acumen’s social enterprises from East and West Africa with leading international companies, the summit is part of Acumen’s Technical Assistance Initiative, which aims to accelerate the growth and impact of enterprises working in agriculture, energy, health care, and water and sanitation to better serve the region’s poor. By creating an occasion for emerging companies and multinational corporations to collaborate, the summit cultivates partnerships to bring social enterprises to scale and establish sustainable businesses committed to alleviating global poverty while also improving standards of living and expanding opportunities for the poor to lead lives of dignity. [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]

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]

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. [Read More]

EduBridge Wins Emerging India Award

We’re delighted to announce that EduBridge has been awarded the ICICI Foundation-CNBC TV18 Emerging India Award under the Urban Livelihoods category! The annual Emerging India awards recognize and honor small medium enterprises that are doing exceptional work in creating value and impact across different business sectors. Founded in 2009, EduBridge provides skill development training for youth from rural and semi-urban areas and job placement in entry-level formal sector jobs in nearby cities. Training consists of spoken English, computer literacy, as well as sector-specific skills and employment-readiness coaching on how to perform and succeed in the workplace. The company targets youth aged between 18 and 25 years who typically go on to become the first formally employed members of their families. EduBridge is addressing both the critical shortage of skilled talent in urban areas and the staggering rates of unemployment in semi-urban and rural areas.   EduBridge currently runs ten centers across four states and has worked with more than 7,000 youth. The company has also partnered with over 75 companies across sectors such as IT, banking, insurance and retail, and has placed some of its trainees at top corporate firms including Unilever, P&G, Future Group and Axis Bank. This award marks EduBridge’s commitment to educating and securing formal employment for low-income youth across India, and we congratulate the entire team on the well-deserved win. Here’s hoping that the years ahead continue to be filled with outstanding growth and impact! [Read More]

The Kerosene Problem: An open letter for better research

At d.light, we hear time and time again how relieved our customers are to rid their homes of toxic kerosene smoke: they feel it burning their eyes and lungs, they see it covering their homes in soot. They – and we – understand that this smoke is bad for them and bad for their homes. But seeing and knowing from experience is not always sufficient in our increasingly data-driven world, especially when it comes to policy formulation. [Read More]

The power of interconnectedness – Jacqueline at TEDxEuston

At the end of last year, Jacqueline Novogratz joined an inspiring line-up of speakers at TEDxEuston 2012. What makes TEDxEuston unique is that is focuses on spreading the work and ideas of a new generation of African leadership. The talks are presented to a mainly African audience, and especially those who are living outside the continent seeking to engage with Africa in an active and meaningful way. [Read More]

Edubridge – providing the skills to succeed in a modern economy (VIDEO)

In India, more than 50 percent of youth aged 15-19 are unemployed or out of school. Due to the huge gaps in educational quality, especially in rural areas, India faces critical shortages in skilled labor, despite a rate of nearly 2 million new job seekers per month. Without training or guidance to develop skills, these unemployed youth have very limited prospects for finding work. [Read More]