Former Fellow, Mario Ferro giving a presentation on Wedu Fund.

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Wedu – the adventure continues

A few months ago Mario Ferro wrote a blog post about the new adventure he embarked on shortly after his Acumen Global Fellowship in 2011. He described the challenges he faced as an entrepreneur starting up Wedu and the inspiration he found through a community of energetic change-agents eager to support Wedu’s mission of empowering women in the developing world through higher education and mentorship.

Former Fellow, Mario Ferro giving a presentation on Wedu Fund.

In November 2012, I got the opportunity to learn first-hand about Wedu and the goals Mario has set for this growing company while attending Acumen’s Investor Gathering as a Chapter Leader for VANCOUVER+acumen. Now, three months after that initial meeting, I find myself in Bangkok in the role of Mentorship Development Manager for Wedu.

I am excited to share that our Mentorship Program will launch within the month!

We are also excited to share and celebrate some recent accomplishments:

1.) Wedu has been nominated for the Global Solutions Award at the Women Deliver Conference taking place in Kuala Lumpur in May.  We are one of 25 teams competing for the Top 10 spots that will pitch at the conference in May.

To support Wedu in receiving the award you can vote on the Women Deliver webpage here or on their Facebook page here. Voting closes on March 6th.

2.) We are excited to be presenting at the regional finals of the GSVC South East Asia business plan competition. Previous winners have been Acumen investees Husk Power Systems and d.light.

The video portion competition is currently underway on Facebook.You can watch Wedu’s video on the GSVC Facebook Page, and if you like it, please click “like” on this page – the most “liked” video wins this portion of the competition.

3.) We have been announced as a semi-finalist in the Echoing Green Fellowship.

Wedu is grateful for the tremendous support we’ve received so far. A particular thanks goes to the CHICAGO+Acumen chapter for helping to grow our community, and for their support in our current competitions.

I’m truly excited to be a part of the growth of Wedu and can’t wait to share more!


Marica Rizzo is the Mentorship Development Manager at Wedu Fund.


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Letter from Jacqueline: My Week in Ghana

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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]