Press Releases

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]

Announcing a New Investment: Mekelle Farms

Acumen is pleased to announce an investment in AGFlow Ventures, the majority owner of Mekelle Farms, Ethiopia’s largest producer of day-old chicks. Mekelle Farms was established in 2010 to produce productive and disease-resistant chicks for smallholder farmers across Ethiopia. This investment is Acumen’s first in Ethiopia, a country of great potential with a population of over 90 million and GDP growth of  over 7% during the past 5 years, according to the World Bank.Other investors in Mekelle Farms include the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, headquartered in Nairobi and backed by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and Arabica Investments operating out of Dubai, UAE and focused on Ethiopia; Flow Equity, a U.S.-based venture development company, and Zemen Bank, a leading commercial bank in Ethiopia.. [Read More]

Announcing the Pakistan Fellows Class of 2014

Acumen is proud to announce the selection of our newest cohort of Pakistan Fellows, a diverse group of 19 inspiring individuals who are fighting poverty and changing lives of people all over Pakistan. Each Fellow is driving an innovative social change initiative addressing a variety of development issues, such as educating street children in the slums, building low-income housing in Lahore, developing the economy of Kashmir through tourism, and working in the government to empower marginalized communities in rural Balochistan. See below for bios of everyone in the incoming class of Pakistan Fellows: [Read More]

Announcing a New Investment: LabourNet

LabourNet Services India Private Limited (LabourNet) today announced an undisclosed equity investment from Acumen, a pioneering nonprofit global venture firm addressing poverty across South Asia and Africa, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, an organization focused on improving the lives of impoverished children through education and health in the United States, South Africa and India. LabourNet is a leader in the private vocational training & education sector in India, enabling livelihoods via work-integrated job training for informal sector workers in trades such as construction, manufacturing, leather, and beauty among others. [Read More]

Bank Alfalah and Acumen Launch Program: “Eradicating Poverty through Entrepreneurship in Pakistan”

Bank Alfalah and Acumen have partnered to launch a program entitled ‘Eradicating Poverty through Entrepreneurship in Pakistan’, based on a $40,000 grant from the Bank. The signing ceremony took place in Karachi today and was attended by Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen, and Atif Bajwa, CEO of Bank Alfalah amongst others. With a view to impacting sustainable development, this is likely to become a multi-year program, based on impact assessment at the end of the first year of the project. [Read More]

Announcing a New Investment: Asian Health Alliance

Acumen today announced a INR 43 Million/$750,000 equity investment in Asian Health Alliance, a company that owns and operates  affordable and high quality medical diagnostic facilities in low income semi-urban areas and rural areas across Karnataka under the brand name Asian Health Meter (AHM) at prices which are significantly lower than large, metro centric diagnostic chains. [Read More]

EduBridge Wins Emerging India Award

We’re delighted to announce that EduBridge has been awarded the ICICI Foundation-CNBC TV18 Emerging India Award under the Urban Livelihoods category! The annual Emerging India awards recognize and honor small medium enterprises that are doing exceptional work in creating value and impact across different business sectors. Founded in 2009, EduBridge provides skill development training for youth from rural and semi-urban areas and job placement in entry-level formal sector jobs in nearby cities. Training consists of spoken English, computer literacy, as well as sector-specific skills and employment-readiness coaching on how to perform and succeed in the workplace. The company targets youth aged between 18 and 25 years who typically go on to become the first formally employed members of their families. EduBridge is addressing both the critical shortage of skilled talent in urban areas and the staggering rates of unemployment in semi-urban and rural areas.   EduBridge currently runs ten centers across four states and has worked with more than 7,000 youth. The company has also partnered with over 75 companies across sectors such as IT, banking, insurance and retail, and has placed some of its trainees at top corporate firms including Unilever, P&G, Future Group and Axis Bank. This award marks EduBridge’s commitment to educating and securing formal employment for low-income youth across India, and we congratulate the entire team on the well-deserved win. Here’s hoping that the years ahead continue to be filled with outstanding growth and impact! [Read More]