Acumen India Director Sachin Rudra with Chief Innovation Officer, Sasha Dichter, presenting during a morning Deep Dive session

Photos: Investor Gathering 2012

Last week Acumen Fund held its annual Investor Gathering, a chance for our partner community to come together to hear updates on our work here at Acumen.  It is a day filled with learning, sharing, collaborating, and of course, a little celebrating.  It is a time of great change and enormous opportunity at Acumen, and we are so grateful for everyone who has supported our work over the last 11 years. Thank you.

Below are a few highlights from the day (all photos by Jonathan Lantz).

Acumen India Director, Sachin Rudra with Chief Innovation Officer, Sasha Dichter, talk during a morning Deep Dive session.

Advisor Seth Godin and Catherine Casey, Global Expansion Manager, taking part in a morning Deep Dive session on building customer trust.

Farrukh Khan, Pakistan Director; Duncan Onyango, East Africa Director; Ashifi Gogo, CEO of Sproxil; and Shuaib Siddiqui, Deputy CIO, discuss how to scale social enterprises.

Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, talks about innovation and the Blueprint to Scale report to kick off the Investor Gathering.

Jacqueline Novogratz presents the "State of Acumen" to our partner community.

West Africa Director, Godfrey Mwindaare, talks about the potential of agriculture and entrepreneurship in West Africa.

The Class of 2013 Global Fellows give a moving presentation about their values and goals for the year.

Sara Mitaru and Ramadhan Obiero get the audience dancing with a musical performance.

Investment Committee member, Peter Cain; Sachin Rudra, India Director; Bruce Robertson, CEO of GADC; and Business Development Manager, Megan Beck chat at the cocktail reception.

The partner community, staff, Fellows, and Chapter leaders gather in celebration after the Investor Gathering.


Why India’s Economic Growth Depends on Vocational Training

India has an enormous population of young people – over half of the 1.2 billion people are younger than 25 years old. Yet, only 2% of its 500 million person workforce has any skills or training. The majority work in the informal sector (90%), where there are few opportunities for education other than what workers ‘pick up’ on the job. This reality limits overall productivity, as well as upward mobility. [Read More]

Letter from Jacqueline: My Week in Ghana

I am writing on a return flight from Ghana. The country has not seen a single case of Ebola, yet the impact of fear is profound. As travelers enter the country, attendants screen for high temperatures. Hand sanitizer dispensers are omnipresent. Hotels and conferences have seen massive cancellations. Everywhere are constant reminders of our fragility and the strength of our connectedness. [Read More]

Six online courses we’re taking this year

+Acumen’s free online courses are a great way to learn tools that will help you develop both professionally and personally. Whether you are a social entrepreneur who wants to market to your customers or a young professional that wants to strengthen your leadership skills, we are offering six courses this Fall that will help you develop the tools, knowledge, and networks to change the way the world tackles poverty. [Read More]

Four Emerging Leaders Building the Future of Pakistan

With 60% of Pakistan’s population living under less than a dollar a day, the external narrative of Pakistan is characterised by what the country lacks; a lack of security, a lack of women’s rights, a lack of access to education, and the list goes on. What this narrative ignores are the individuals who work tirelessly to plug those gaps. From human rights to education to food security, Acumen Pakistan Fellows are affecting change through organizations committed to tackling poverty. Their work is truly inspiring, promising a hopeful future for Pakistan. Here are four fellows that are building this future for Pakistan and come together periodically to share learning experiences and grow as leaders. Through five seminars, the fellows have strengthened skills of adaptability, communication, empathy and problem solving through listening. If you are committed to creating change in your community, apply now to be an Acumen Pakistan Fellow. The deadline is 29 September. [Read More]

Acumen Partners with AlphaSights to Better Access Global Expertise

In our work investing in social enterprises that deliver critical goods to the poor, there is a substantial amount of work to evaluate each investment opportunity. A critical part of the diligence process, particularly when it comes to emerging markets, is speaking with industry experts who can provide reliable information about sector trends, market dynamics and public policy – all of which affect our evaluation of potential investment opportunities. [Read More]


Our manifesto begins, “it starts by standing with the poor.” Yet for good reasons, the sector has found it challenging to measure which customers are actually being served through social impact investments – getting accurate data on incomes is notoriously difficult and the logistical challenge and cost of conducting surveys in person prohibitive. [Read More]

Questions for Aspiring Leaders

Bavidra Mohan, Acumen’s India Fellows Manager, attended this years Aspen IDEAS festival as a Scholar. The Scholarship program was established to invite guests from around the world to bring a diverse set of experiences, voices and perspectives to the rich conversations that take place at the IDEAS festival each year. [Read More]