London 4 Acumen held its first Fall 2011 event on October 6th at the HUB Culture in the centre of London. ACUMEN 101 attracted over 80+ guests for an introductory session to social entrepreneurship and patient capital. It was also the first opportunity for the London community to meet in-person with the new staff of Acumen Fund London – Vinay Nair and James Wu.
The atmosphere in the room was great and people started chatting the moment they came through the door on a cool autumn evening. Some guests re-connected after the DIGNITY London event in June and new welcomes were also made to newly-relocated Acumen fans. Some of our event volunteers had moved to London from New York and Vancouver and it was their first chance to meet the L4A team and bring in their NYfA and Van4Acumen experiences. Even before any presentations were made, the event really brought on a sense of connectedness in this global world of ours.
Vinay provided an introduction of What is Acumen Fund and who is Jacqueline. James then went on to illustrate an example of patient capital through Acumen Fund portfolio company, WaterHealth International. The Global Fellows Program was also introduced to the London crowd and applications were encouraged.
We ended the evening with a Question & Answer session and a networking session, which extended our booking time in the HUB causing the event to overflow into the restaurant downstairs. Many thanks to London4Acumen chapter supporters – Origen Group, Hub Culture and Open Films – and to James and Vinay for leading the session.
A week after ACUMEN 101, on Oct 13th 2011, Gavin McGilivary Head, Private Sector Department at DFID came to Cambridge University to give a talk as part of the Gates Scholar Society Distinguished Lecture Series. Gavin talked about why DFID works with the private sector, how and what results will transform the business environment. He also spoke highly about Acumen Fund and the power of impact investing.
The message of patient capital is clearly spreading in London and across the country in the UK and in Europe. Welcome again Vinay and James, we’re happy to have you here!
If you’re interested in joining the conversation and the community, please visit our page on Acumen’s Community site.
Julia Fan Li volunteers for London 4 Acumen. She is currently completing her doctoral research on financing global health at Cambridge University. Twitter: @juliafanli