Press Releases


Sanitation IS Sexy! Challenge Winners Announced

The judges votes are in, and we’re excited to announce the winners for the Search for the Obvious Sanitation is Sexy challenge. Videos, print ads, tweets, essays, and campaigns poured in in response to the challenge: “Sanitation is Sexy: Make it Obvious.” You can find the winning submissions here:

We received over 80 entries from around the world and were struck by the creativity, thoughtfulness, and diversity of all the submissions. Most importantly, we helped elevate the issue of sanitation in the public eye generating tens if not hundreds of thousands of impressions! Many thanks for the support of our incredible judges and challenge sponsors at Design Observer, GOOD Magazine, and YouTube.

So let’s continue to make sanitation sexy by sharing your favorite submissions far and wide. With over 40% of the world’s population lacking access to basic sanitation, we can’t afford to be embarrassed, grossed out, or silent about sh*t anymore.

If you’d like to learn more about Acumen Fund’s work in sanitation, please watch this PBS NewsHour segment on Ecotact, one of our investees in Kenya.  And please also be sure to check out our new video which explains how we’re changing the way the world is tackling poverty:

Thanks for all of your support in making this critical but often ignored issue a more obvious one.

Print category winning submission by Kofi Opoku

James Wu is a Business Development 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]