Our World


Seen & Heard – What You Might Be Missing

Seen & Heard is a collection of recent headlines in the news about our world, our work, and the spaces and places in between. In each post, we also share a list of job openings at Acumen Fund and in our sector. Seen & Heard appears twice a month on the blog. For those of you who like keeping a pulse on the latest news as it’s happening, please consider following us on Twitter! Finally, if you have ideas for how we can improve Seen & Heard, please don’t be shy and leave a comment below to let us know. Thanks for reading!


Articles of the Week
AF and AF Family in the News

Other Relevant Articles


Jobs at Acumen Fund

Other Jobs Do you know people on the job market? Tell them about these other opportunities:

Seen & Heard Around Acumen Fund

What you might be missing

September 24 – October 7, 2010

Thanks to those of you who sent along articles for this next Seen & Heard newsletter! Continue to send articles, reports and events to Instead of E-mail and Documents, and if you want to be extra sure something appears here, also e-mail the link to Taylor at tray@acumenfund.org.


· SoCap10 took place this week in San Francisco. JN delivered the keynote address and interviewed with Bloomberg TV.

· Co-Founder of Sun Microsystems and Venture Capitalist, Vinod Khosla, announced that he will set up a new BoP-focused venture fund this year, with plans to encourage high net worth individuals in India to give.

· The 2010 ANDE Annual Conference took place, and the public sector panel echoed some promising attitudes.

Articles of the Week
AF and AF Family in the News

· Applications opened for the 2011-2012 Acumen Fund Fellowship, and will remain open until November 5th. Also check out the promotional video (shared by Blair and Ramil).

· Lots of acclaim for energy investees:

o Husk Power Systems and IDEI were named as Tech Award Laureates 2010 (shared by Raj)

o WIRED Magazine features D.light and GEWP as enterprises effectively using technology for the BoP (shared by Raj)

o Husk Power Systems is a finalist to win $20,000 in the BBC World Challenge! Vote for “Burn after Eating” (shared by Raj)

· Eight creative projects were chosen as winners of The Blue Sweater 500 giveaway competition, and a video was released on the book club in Kenya that inspired the competition (shared by Wei Wei and Lucy)

· GOOD Magazine listed Acumen Fund as one of its Thirty Places We Want to Work (shared by Mariko)

Other Relevant Articles

· ABC News plans a yearlong project investigating global health, backed by Gates Foundation (shared by Michele)

· Gates and Buffet turn sights towards India’s billionaires as targets for the Giving Pledge (shared by Sasha)

· Senator Hillary Clinton presses Pakistan to raise taxes on the wealthy to compliment flood aid (shared by Wei Wei)

· The Guardian reports on water and sanitation in Kenyan slums (shared by Amon)

· Tragedy ensues for Indian women who are tormented to pay off microloans (shared by Yasmin)

· NYTimes reports on India’s digital surveillance plan and how it is deterring business (shared by Aden)

· Following the announcement of seed money for clean-burning cookstoves, The Economist examines health hazards of indoor air pollution (shared by Wei Wei)


· “Power to the People” – A report on the market potential for investing in clean energy for the BoP in rural India (shared by Taylor and Rob)

· Two research reports from the GIIN for Project Terragua – agribusiness and impact investing in Africa (shared by Brian)

· CGAP follows up on the SKS IPO in India and blogs about it (shared by Ami)

· Indian government guidelines for village electrification through Decentralized Distributed Generation (shared by Yasmin)

· A short deck on the landscape for micro, small, and medium enterprises (shared by Rob)

· Deck on legal considerations for hybrid non/for-profit enterprises through the case study of Embrace (confidential, shared by Rob)

· The Acumen Fund Guide to Parenting! A handbook of love for Nadege, attached at bottom of notes (shared by Mariko)

Events and Happenings

· October 11-15 – Fellows Good Society Week (upstate New York)

· October 12 – Investment Committee Meeting

· October 19 – Partner Breakfast

· November 4 – Fellows Case Competition

· November 9 – Investor Gathering


Jobs at Acumen Fund

· India Director

· Pakistan Portfolio Associate

· Innovation Manager

· East Africa Portfolio Manager

· Agriculture Manager

· Pakistan Portfolio Consultant

Other Jobs Do you know people on the job market? Tell them about these other opportunities:

· Chief Executive Officer – GEWP – Aurangabad, IN

· Marketing Consultant and Web Site Volunteer – AyurVAID Hospitals – Banglore, IN (but can work remotely)

· Director of Policy – B-Lab – New York, NY

· Ratings Associate – B-Lab/GIIN – Nairobi, KE

· Production Engineering Manager – Embrace – Banglore, IN

· IT Director –  Root Capial – Cambridge, MA

· Tanzania Country Director – Anza – Arusha/Moshi, TZ

· Ruby Engineer –  Samasource – San Francisco, CA


Reflections on the India Fellows Seminar

Each year, the India Fellows Program brings together up to 20 emerging leaders from different regions, sectors, and socio-economic backgrounds in India. During the fellowship year, Fellows remain in their jobs and meet every 6-8 weeks throughout the year for 4 seminars and 2 collaborative projects, each about a week long. As the India Fellows Associate, Jacqui is responsible for supporting all aspects of the program recruitment, logistics, marketing and strategic planning. Below, Jacqui reflects on the first seminar, Foundations of Leadership. You can read more about the fellowship program here[Read More]

Adaptive Leadership in Action: Addressing Cultural Norms & Giving Women a Voice

In the fall of 2013, +Acumen launched the course Adaptive Leadership: Mobilizing for Change in partnership with the Cambridge Leadership Associates. This course is for anyone who wants to become more effective at leading their organization through change. Below, one of the course participants shared her story about how this course impacted her work and ability to affect change. [Read More]

Making Sense of Social Impact in Action: The Value of Educating Our Youth

At Acumen, one of the most common questions we get is how we measure social impact. Our newest +Acumen course – Making Sense of Social Impact: Acumen’s Building Blocks for Impact Analysis. – will provide an entry point for how to think about impact and we’ll share frameworks that help us define what to measure and why. Makoto Matsuura, founder of cobon a not-for-profit focused on youth education in Jakarta, Indonesia and Osaka, Japan, took a pilot version of this course and shared his reflections with us. [Read More]

Good news for philanthropists in the U.K. and Europe

We are excited to announce that Acumen now holds a CAF Charitable Trust in the United Kingdom. CAF, the Charities Aid Foundation, is a registered U.K. charity. By donating to Acumen through CAF, you can use Gift Aid if the amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax you’ve paid for the tax year in which you make your donation is at least equal to the amount of basic rate tax  [the charity or Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) and any other charities or CASCs] you donate to will reclaim on your gift. CAF will reclaim 25% Gift Aid from HM Revenue & Customs and pass this through to Acumen.  The donor can claim higher rate tax relief (for more information, please refer to CAF’s online resource, What Is Gift Aid?). [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]