Press Releases


D.light: Two Million Lives Impacted!

This post originally appeared on the D.light blog — Let there D.light! — on November 15, 2010.

But what does two million actually mean?

Today we made a big announcement: As of this month, d.light has officially impacted two million people in over 40 countries around the world! This comes only eight months after we hit the one million mark, and at the rate we’re growing, three million is just around the corner. We are extremely proud of this achievement, and I am grateful for all the support that has allowed us to get here.

Two million is a big number, so I asked members of our team to crunch some data to give us context for what kind of impact we’re talking about here. The numbers they came up with are, to say the least, very encouraging.

Two million lives impacted by d.light means:

Healthier, Safer Homes

  • Hundreds of thousands of households with reduced indoor air pollution, and reduced risk of developing respiratory infections
  • At least 34,483 burns from kerosene fire prevented (Source: Footprint Network)
  • At least 800 lives saved from deadly kerosene or candle fires (Source: WTO)

Improved Educational Outcomes for Children

  • 400,000 or more children have upgraded to solar lighting for studying, which means that they are studying at least 1-4 hours more per night. That is a lot more tests passed, homework assignments completed, and books read! (Source: d.light field research)
  • 400,000 is 18 times the number of students attending Harvard University

Revolutionary Change in Economic Circumstances

  • USD60 million in savings for families who are no longer reliant on kerosene (Source: d.light field research)
  • USD65 million in increased productivity – this is 12 times the 2009 profit of Grameen Bank! (Source: UNDP, d.light field research)
  • In total, this means an additional USD135 million in the pockets of poor rural families around the world, which can be put towards key expenditures like education, health care, transport, and communications.

Reduction in Global Carbon Emissions

  • 82,618 tons reduction in carbon emissions (Source: UNFCCC)
  • This is equivalent to the weight of more than eight Eiffel Towers, and the CO2 emitted by driving around the entire globe 9,283 times!

We started d.light to change the world, and the numbers above show how we are doing just that. But we know it’s only the beginning, and so we will continue working to bring life-changing solar solutions to all 1.6 billion people in the world without access to electricity.

Now on to the next million…

Sam Goldman is the Co-Founder and CEO of D.light Design.


Announcing a New Investment: SolarNow

Acumen is pleased to announce a $1.4 million investment in SolarNow, a company that sells and finances solar home systems in Uganda. We sat down with Shuaib Siddiqui, Acumen’s Portfolio Director to learn more about the deal and why he’s excited about this innovative company. [Read More]

Letter from Jacqueline: My Week in Ghana

I am writing on a return flight from Ghana. The country has not seen a single case of Ebola, yet the impact of fear is profound. As travelers enter the country, attendants screen for high temperatures. Hand sanitizer dispensers are omnipresent. Hotels and conferences have seen massive cancellations. Everywhere are constant reminders of our fragility and the strength of our connectedness. [Read More]

Six online courses we’re taking this year

+Acumen’s free online courses are a great way to learn tools that will help you develop both professionally and personally. Whether you are a social entrepreneur who wants to market to your customers or a young professional that wants to strengthen your leadership skills, we are offering six courses this Fall that will help you develop the tools, knowledge, and networks to change the way the world tackles poverty. [Read More]

Four Emerging Leaders Building the Future of Pakistan

With 60% of Pakistan’s population living under less than a dollar a day, the external narrative of Pakistan is characterised by what the country lacks; a lack of security, a lack of women’s rights, a lack of access to education, and the list goes on. What this narrative ignores are the individuals who work tirelessly to plug those gaps. From human rights to education to food security, Acumen Pakistan Fellows are affecting change through organizations committed to tackling poverty. Their work is truly inspiring, promising a hopeful future for Pakistan. Here are four fellows that are building this future for Pakistan and come together periodically to share learning experiences and grow as leaders. Through five seminars, the fellows have strengthened skills of adaptability, communication, empathy and problem solving through listening. If you are committed to creating change in your community, apply now to be an Acumen Pakistan Fellow. The deadline is 29 September. [Read More]

Acumen Partners with AlphaSights to Better Access Global Expertise

In our work investing in social enterprises that deliver critical goods to the poor, there is a substantial amount of work to evaluate each investment opportunity. A critical part of the diligence process, particularly when it comes to emerging markets, is speaking with industry experts who can provide reliable information about sector trends, market dynamics and public policy – all of which affect our evaluation of potential investment opportunities. [Read More]


Our manifesto begins, “it starts by standing with the poor.” Yet for good reasons, the sector has found it challenging to measure which customers are actually being served through social impact investments – getting accurate data on incomes is notoriously difficult and the logistical challenge and cost of conducting surveys in person prohibitive. [Read More]

Questions for Aspiring Leaders

Bavidra Mohan, Acumen’s India Fellows Manager, attended this years Aspen IDEAS festival as a Scholar. The Scholarship program was established to invite guests from around the world to bring a diverse set of experiences, voices and perspectives to the rich conversations that take place at the IDEAS festival each year. [Read More]