Press Releases

Image: Greg Barker MP, UK with Gyanesh Pandey, Husk Power, India/ Photo credit: The Ashden Awards

Husk Power Systems wins Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy

Image: Greg Barker MP, UK with Gyanesh Pandey, Husk Power, India/ Photo credit: The Ashden Awards

The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy recognized Husk Power Systems last week for its work in rural electrification and empowerment in Bihar, India. To date, the company has set up 65 rice husk based power generation plants, which serve over 25,000 households in one of the poorest regions of India. Acumen is thrilled for Husk Power, and we enthusiastically join the team in celebrating this well-deserved honor.

The company lives by the Sankrit slogan, ‘Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya’ or ‘From darkness to light,’ In this spirit, the team has made it its mission to lead a revolution in electrification, helping the low-income people of Bihar out of the oppressive cycle of poverty by lighting their lives. In the process, the company has provided employment to over 300 people from the local area, redefined the idea of frugal engineering, and is in the process of setting up ‘Husk Power University’, a facility to provide formal education and training to operators and mechanics who are from the communities that the company serves. And the company is just getting started!

While the team provides electricity over 130 villages without breaking a sweat, I assure you this is no easy task. Congratulations are due to the hardworking team on the ground at Husk Power Systems. Gyanesh, Ratnesh, Manoj, Rama, Satish, Alok, Puneet, Mario…here’s to you!

Karthik Chandrasekar is a Portfolio Manager in Acumen’s India 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]