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Seen & Heard – What You Might Be Missing

What’s New at Acumen?

  • Acumen welcomed 3 new classes of Regional Fellows in Pakistan, India, and East Africa
  • +Acumen launched its second course on Human Centered Design and its first course on Social Impact (registration is open until May 11th!)

More Recent Highlights

  • Karuna discusses Acumen’s investments in low-income housing space in India on the Live Mint and the Wall Street Journal
  • Global Post and Ideapod feature Jacqueline’s One on One interview about Dignity
  • Sasha wrote “Give Impact Investing Time and Space to Develop” on Harvard Business Review Blog
  • Acumen made its first investment in Rwanda, investing $1.2million in KZ Noir, a specialty coffee producer.
  • Acumen made a $600,000 investment in Miliki Afya, a clinic chain that serves the poor in Kenya
  • Acumen made its first investment in Ethiopia, investing in Mekelle Farms, Ethiopia’s largest producer of day-old chicks
  • Jacqueline contributed to a series on “How to Thrive” on Huffington Post
  • Forbes journalist Denise Restauri interviewed 3 of the 2013 Global Fellows to answer the question “How do we lead with dignity?” in The 9 Keys to Leading with Dignity
  • Jacqueline talks about the marriage of love & power in Origin Magazine

Impact Investing in the News

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For more job postings, check out NextBillion’s Career CenterANDE’s Jobs in the NetworkGIIN’s Job BoardSocialEdge Job Listings, and this great list of Fellowships

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Dispatch from Pakistan: Hope in Place of Fear

There is fear in the streets of Pakistan. I sit in traffic, just a few hundred feet from my hotel where my next meeting is scheduled. I could arrive at my destination in five minutes if I walked, but it is not advised to walk. On the right side of my car, four men pointing automatic weapons stand in the back of a police van. Just in front is a black SUV with four commandos in the back, each with AK-47s, I think, though I’m no expert in guns. Let’s just say they are very big and look very menacing. A few cars to the left is another gun-filled vehicle pushing other cars out of its way, presumably to join the caravan of the armed. Sirens are wailing. [Read More]

ANNOUNCING A NEW INVESTMENT, FIRST ACCESS

Acumen announces its new investment in First Access, a data analytics company improving access to formal financial services for low-income East African communities. In East Africa, only 22 percent of the population has access to formal financial services with the region’s poor having even less at 10 percent. First Access presents an opportunity to increase the ability of these low-income communities to save, manage risk responsibility, invest in such critical services as education, and ultimately rise out of poverty. [Read More]

ANNOUNCING THE 2015 PAKISTAN FELLOWS

Acumen is proud to announce the selection of our third cohort of Pakistan Fellows. After a competitive application process, we’ve chosen a diverse group of 20 leaders working in provinces across the country. This year’s Fellows are fighting poverty and changing lives across Pakistan through unique initiatives that range from advocating for vulnerable prisoners’ rights, to creating solutions to address low-quality education, to developing branchless banking channels for low-income customers, and more. Read more about each Fellow and their inspiring work below. [Read More]

Lean Data Goes Deeper

One of the most interesting questions we’re grappling with right now on the Impact team at Acumen is how to develop a more robust, rigorous, and transparent form of quantifying the social value our companies create. While I don’t believe we will ever fully understand all the social value created – and while there will always be room for debate and interpretation – I do think today we have the tools to get a lot closer to customers and hear how they value products. [Read More]

ANNOUNCING THE 2015 INDIA FELLOWS

Acumen is proud to announce the selection of our second cohort of India Fellows. After a competitive application process, we’ve chosen a diverse group of 20 leaders working in 13 states. This year’s Fellows are fighting poverty and changing lives across India through unique initiatives that range from providing affordable menstrual hygiene products to marginalized women, to making quality education available to children in conflict zones, to designing innovative sanitation solutions for the urban poor, and more. Read more about each Fellow and their inspiring work below. [Read More]

ACUMEN NAMED ONE OF WORLD’S TOP 10 MOST INNOVATIVE COMPANIES IN NOT-FOR-PROFIT BY FAST COMPANY

Fast Company today announced its 2015 ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in Not-For-Profit, honoring leading organizations and rising newcomers that exemplify the best in social and philanthropic innovation. Acumen earned the No. 7 spot on the annual list in recognition for its Lean Data Initiative—a project launched in 2014 to find more efficient, cost-effective ways to measure and evaluate social impact. [Read More]

ANNOUNCING THE 2015 EAST AFRICA FELLOWS

Acumen is proud to announce the selection of our fourth cohort of East Africa Fellows. After a competitive application process, we’ve chosen a diverse group of 21 leaders from five different countries in the region: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and, for the first time, Ethiopia. This year’s Fellows are fighting poverty and changing lives across East Africa through unique initiatives that range from providing much-needed ambulance services to helping make hygienic sanitation more accessible and affordable to empowering young women to start viable agro-enterprises and more. Read more about each Fellow and their inspiring work below. [Read More]