Acumen Blog

Beyond the Aid Debate

Blair Miller is VP of the MDG Health Alliance, a coalition philanthropists/businessmen that use private sector approaches to address global health issues. Prior to this, Blair spent 5 years here at Acumen. Below, she writes about the aid debate and why we need to move beyond these simplistic arguments and dive into more realistic issues. This post was originally posted here. [Read More]

Letter from Jacqueline Novogratz – May 2014

Springtime. A day trip to speak in Washington, D.C. coincided with the peak of the city’s prized cherry blossoms, a gift from Japan to the United States in 1912. I walked at dawn, mesmerized by those venerable trees, their gnarled trunks and knotted branches adorned with fragile blushing flowers, promises of a renewal at once beautiful and fleeting. Life is so short: if not of purpose, then of what? [Read More]

Shaiza Rizavi Joins Acumen’s Board of Directors

We are pleased to announce that Shaiza Rizavi has joined Acumen’s Board of Directors. Shaiza became a Partner at Acumen after reading The Blue Sweater and recognizing that “Jacqueline had an idea large enough to disrupt poverty.” She has been a hugely valuable member of our community over many years, sharing her insights and ideas, joining a trip to East Africa to visit our investee companies, mentoring a team through our +Acumen course in Karachi, and participating on Fellows selection panels. You can watch this short video of Shaiza at our Investor Gathering this past year, discussing her experiences and impressions of Acumen. [Read More]

Discussing Investment Philosophy with Zaffar Khan

In addition to being on Acumen Pakistan’s Advisory Council and Chair of Acumen Pakistan’s Board, Mr. Khan is also a member of Acumen’s Investment Committee, responsible for approving Acumen’s global investments. Mr. Khan also serves as Board Member of the Pakistan Center for Philanthropy. Previously, he has also served Chairman of PIA, KSE, and PTCL and President of Engro Chemicals Ltd. He sat down with us to discuss his investment philosophy, discussing what he looks for and common challenges he has seen. [Read More]

Highlighting our Incredible Pakistan Fellows

Acumen Regional Fellows are leaders tackling the most challenging social issues by starting with their own communities. This year’s Pakistan cohort brings together leaders from all over the country, addressing issues ranging from sex trafficking to the education of street children. With two seminars under their belts and three more to go, the Acumen Pakistan Fellows are mid-way through their Fellowship Year. Below, we check in with four of them to see how they’re using the skills from the program to help translate their vision into reality. [Read More]

Acumen and Plan 9: Investing in Tomorrow’s Social Entrepreneurs

In May, Acumen Pakistan partnered with Plan 9 to identify upcoming social entrepreneurs that are using technology to tackle society’s most pressing problems. Set up by the Government of Punjab, Plan 9 is a technology-focused incubator in Lahore that incubates 24 companies in 2 cycles each year. During each cycle, selected teams receive office space at Plan 9 as well as multiple training, mentor, and product review sessions.  [Read More]

ACUMEN AND DOW CHEMICAL ADVANCE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT SOCIAL ENTERPRISES ACROSS AFRICA

Acumen, with support from Dow, Unilever and Barclays hosts their second annual Technical Assistance (TA) Initiative Summit from May 5-7 in Nairobi, Kenya. The Summit is the second gathering in support of Acumen’s TA Initiative aimed at accelerating the development and distribution of crucial products and services in agriculture, water, sanitation and energy across East and West Africa. [Read More]

COCA-COLA INVESTS IN WATERHEALTH INTERNATIONAL’S MODEL

The Coca-Cola Company and Acumen investee WaterHealth International (WHI) recently announced their plan to bring safe drinking water to 1 million school children through their Child With Water (CWW) program. Together, the partners aim to deliver 500 million liters of safe drinking water a year to 1 million school children in 2,000 schools in developing countries by the end of 2015. Safe drinking water will be delivered to school children through water purification systems installed, operated and maintained by WaterHealth International and the first installations will begin in May 2014. [Read More]