Press Releases

A community demonstration with Western Seed Company, and Acumen Fund agriculture investee in Kenya

Acumen Fund Now Accepting Business Plans Online!

A community demonstration with Western Seed Company, AF agriculture investee in Kenya

Over the years, Acumen Fund has developed a dynamic portfolio of social enterprises, which we have identified through our global networks and our deep presence on the ground. We are continuously building out our pipeline of investment opportunities — but still, there are opportunities that we may not see, solutions that we may be overlooking.

Perhaps you didn’t win that business plan competition but deserve another look. Or possibly we missed each other at that conference, and never had the chance to connect. Maybe you’re based outside the range of our regional offices.  Are we missing the next big innovation in clean water distribution or affordable housing?  We wonder.

To help ensure we don’t miss something great that’s in front of our nose, we’re excited to announce that Acumen Fund is now accepting business plans online. We believe that pioneering entrepreneurs will find solutions to poverty and we hope to meet more of through this system. Our team will continue to search for the most promising investment opportunities, but now — whether you’re in Manhattan, Mombasa, or Mumbai — you can send your businesses plans directly to us through

Investment Criteria

To give you a better idea of what we’re looking for, Acumen Fund invests in early-mid stage companies that bring essential goods or services – like water, health, agriculture, energy, and housing – to base of the pyramid (BoP) customers that earn less than four dollars per day.  We currently focus our investments in India, Pakistan, and East Africa, and typically invest between $200K-$2M in debt or equity.

All investments must fulfill our three core investment criteria: potential for significant social impact, potential for financial sustainability, and potential to achieve scale.  For more detailed information about how we evaluate investments, please see our Investment Discipline page.

The best applicants will have innovative, proven models that meet all of our investment criteria and a visionary management team with the skills and experience to execute the business plan.  Please carefully read our Business Plan Submission page to see the specific topics you should address in your plan.

Are you working to build a scalable, financially sustainable business that achieves huge social impact and serves the BoP?  If you can confidently say yes, send us your business plan at  We know you’re out there and we don’t want to miss out.

Jonathan Mazumdar is a Portfolio Associate in Acumen Fund’s New York Office


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]