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.


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]