Press Releases


The d.light S1 lantern

Smaller! Brighter! Cheaper! d.light has done it again! Say hello to the latest member of the d.light family – the S1.

With the launch of the S1 solar lantern, d.light‘s impact is reaching a whole new level. The S1 is the world’s most affordable quality solar lantern, listed at only $8. This durable, bright, safe and reliable light beckons the world to abandon unhealthy and costly kerosene that cripples families incomes, pollutes homes and environments,  and causes countless numbers of burns.

After a full day’s charge in the sun, the S1 can provide up to four hours of bright light. Easy to use, hang and carry, the lantern is equipped with an adjustable handle. The handle both helps to position the solar panel to effectively catch sunlight, and to focus the light at night. With a charging facility that can also be used with AC power, the S1 can also a useful commodity for grid-connected households as well.

Perhaps the S1’s greatest impact will be in education. A World Bank study in Sudan found that pass rates doubled after students used solar lighting for one year.  Similarly, d.light conducted a pilot in India in which 100 percent of 275 students surveyed said they regularly studied with the d.light S1, and all of them experienced benefits including increased productivity, cleaner air inside the home, and reduced risk of fire. We expect that this product along with other innovations from d.light will help bring light, health and dignity to off-grid families for years to come.

Ravi Kumar is an Energy Portfolio Intern in Acumen Fund’s India office.

Images from d.light.


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]