Husk Power Systems featured on PBS NewsHour | Acumen
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When the world’s largest democracy goes dark, it makes headlines. During the 2012 India blackouts, roughly 600 million people were left without power, making it the largest power outage in world history. Not included among those without electricity were the more than 200,000 customers of Husk Power Systems (HPS) in the state of Bihar. The biogas-powered mini-grids created and run by Husk Power continued to provide electricity and light for villages that the India government has declared “impossible to reach by conventional means.” [Read More]
When the world’s largest democracy goes dark, it makes headlines. During the 2012 India blackouts, roughly 600 million people were left without power, making it the largest power outage in world history. Not included among those without electricity were the more than 200,000 customers of Husk Power Systems (HPS) in the state of Bihar. The biogas-powered mini-grids created and run by Husk Power continued to provide electricity and light for villages that the India government has declared “impossible to reach by conventional means.”
Acumen first invested in HPS in 2009 when the company had only a few working plants. Now they have over 80 rice-husk power plants throughout the state and will continued to grow, thanks in part to a Series A funding round lead by Acumen in 2012. Providing electricity to rural villages who had never before had access is no small feat. Husk’s work is empowering, in the literal and figurative sense.
Last week, The PBS NewsHour did a feature on Husk Power Systems in the context of India’s recent blackouts and ongoing energy issues. The video does an excellent job of showing that social enterprises like Husk have an vital role to play in meeting customer demand in areas where governments have failed to deliver.
Although it may not be feasible to scale risk-husk power to serve an entire nation, Husk is fulfilling an important customer need and creating entirely new energy markets. Acumen is proud to invest in companies like HPS that are bringing such critical goods to low-income customers despite all obstacles.
Bank Alfalah and Acumen have partnered to launch a program entitled ‘Eradicating Poverty through Entrepreneurship in Pakistan’, based on a $40,000 grant from the Bank. The signing ceremony took place in Karachi today and was attended by Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen, and Atif Bajwa, CEO of Bank Alfalah amongst others. With a view to impacting sustainable development, this is likely to become a multi-year program, based on impact assessment at the end of the first year of the project. [Read More]
Most of us don’t consider the implications of having a functioning toilet each and every time we use one. We rarely worry over where we’ll go when nature calls. There’s no concern over whether or not the waste will end up in our drinking water or if we’ll contract illness due to the inability to wash our hands. Yet, for the one in three people around the world who lack access to adequate sanitation, these seeming non-entities are serious daily struggles. [Read More]
Justus Kilian is a current Global Fellow working in Gulu, Uganda at GADC. GADC sources both organic and conventionally-produced cotton from over 55,000 smallholder farmers in the region. In another life, Justus worked as a Senior Financial Analyst at Merrill Lynch, and as a Global Securities Technician at the Northern Trust Company. The next year of his life will be challenging, uncomfortable, purposeful, and transforming. Join him as he shares his journey and lessons learned on how Agriculture can shape and transform the economy in Uganda. [Read More]
Acumen today announced a INR 43 Million/$750,000 equity investment in Asian Health Alliance, a company that owns and operates affordable and high quality medical diagnostic facilities in low income semi-urban areas and rural areas across Karnataka under the brand name Asian Health Meter (AHM) at prices which are significantly lower than large, metro centric diagnostic chains. [Read More]
Acumen has been selected for the ImpactAssets 50 2013, a free, online resource for impact investors and their advisors. The IA 50 is the first publicly available database of private debt and equity impact investment fund managers. Fund managers included in the IA 50 2013 manage a combined $10.8 billion in assets within the impact investing market. It includes a broad range of organizations spanning domestic and international geographies, sectors, asset classes and impact areas: [Read More]
Recently, I had the pleasure of spending two days with Acumen’s class of 2014 Global Fellows. These Fellows, a group of truly outstanding individuals from around the world who are committed to social change in the developing world, spend two months with Acumen training in New York before working for nine months with Acumen’s companies in India, Pakistan, East and West Africa. While at their placements, they do things like run the sesame business for Gulu, a company serving more than 40,000 smallholder farmers in post-conflict Northern Uganda; or helping d.Light expand its solar lighting business in Nigeria. [Read More]