Acumen Blog

Breaking stereotypes

An article in the current issue of Business Week talks about Muslims in America. The article challenges stereotypes of Muslims and reminds us that in finding commonalities across cultures and beliefs, we can truly make change happen. One of our dedicated pro bono attorneys, Nazish Agha of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, has been rightly featured in this piece as an example of successful Muslim Americans. [Read More]

Fellows in the field

It is hard to believe that our first class of fellows has been out in the field for two months, and we are now preparing to recruit the next class. As we reflect on the past four months, the fellows program has been an exciting way that we have been able to develop leadership – both professionally and personally – for our sector and provide on-the-ground support for our investees. [Read More]

Happy New Year!

As we start 2007, I’ve been reflecting on the past year, which was one of transformation for Acumen Fund. We have grown to nearly thirty people – with country offices and country teams and fellows working directly with our investments – who share a deep belief for making meaningful, tangible change in the world.  [Read More]

The link between malaria and AIDS

An editorial in The New York Times this week has it right in the last line – the world needs to focus on improving health systems and not just undertake one-off approaches to curbing diseases. The disastrous interaction of malaria and HIV causes more infections, sickness and death. I’ve just returned from Eastern and Southern Africa where we visited enterprises concerned with both diseases. I’ll post some excerpts from my journal in the coming weeks, but wanted to flag this important finding – and hope that our conclusion is to think more broadly about what it will take to deliver high quality and affordable health products and services to the poor. [Read More]

The “new Rockefeller”

Congratulations to Judith Rodin and The Rockefeller Foundation, a founding partner who provided seed capital to launch Acumen Fund. This article in The Economist highlights Dr. Rodin’s unrelenting approach to building on the best of Rockefeller history and re-inventing it to mirror the new realities of a global and interconnected economy. We’re proud to be associated with Rockefeller Foundation and are excited to see this new conversation taking place the world over. [Read More]

Opening access to healthcare to poor consumers in India

It was an incredible experience being at the opening of the first Sanjeevani store last Tuesday. The store and clinic looked wonderful (clean and simple), felt nice and cool in the warm Mumbai afternoon (the CEO of Medicine Shoppe India, Viraj Gandhi, made a note for me to thank Jacqueline for insisting on having the stores air conditioned), the Vision Shoppe had a long line for testing (I bought my first pair of prescription glasses after being tested as mildly myopic), and the line for the public clinic spilled out into the streets. I have also never seen Viraj as excited—he was just giddy about the possibilities that this new format holds for serving the poor. It also didn’t hurt that the Director of International Operations from Medicine Shoppe in the US was there at the launch. They were one of many partners that had cautioned Viraj about trying to enter the poor and rural markets, but seemed to be pleased with the launch yesterday. [Read More]

Asia’s humanitarian youth

At the Acumen Fund Pakistan office, we’ve had a lot of discussions about the fact that AF has a lot of young, driven people behind it who are committed to making a difference. This is noticeable in Pakistan even in terms of the inspirational individuals with whom we work – from Roshaneh Zafar at Kashf to Jawad Aslam at Saiban. Given the above, I found this article in Newsweek International to be really interesting, especially as it notes that this social consciousness is increasingly becoming a common phenomenon in Asia – which I personally hope translates into more people engaging in entrepreneurial approaches to poverty. [Read More]