Acumen Blog


Wedu named “Top Global Solution for Women”

In March, I wrote an update about Wedu, a social enterprise started by Mario Ferro, a 2011 Acumen Global Fellow. At that time, Wedu had just won the South East Asia Regional Final of the Global Social Venture Competition and had just received a nomination for the Global Solution for Women award, presented by Women Deliver.

THANK YOU! To get to the finals in Kuala Lumpur, Wedu needed to pass the online voting stage – so thank you to the Acumen community for your votes!

On 27 May 2013, Mario, Mi Win Thida (Wedu Mentee from Myanmar), and I flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Women Deliver global conference that attracted over 4500 attendees representing 189 countries and featured high caliber speakers and panelists. The three-day conference discussed the issues around women and girls’ empowerment, health and education, and culminated around the Social Enterprise Challenge on the final day, of which Wedu was a participant.

The panel of judges for the Challenge included representatives from well-known organizations, including Acumen investee Ziqitza Healthcare. You can view the presentation we gave here.

Wedu is continuing to grow and add new initiatives. In April we launched the Mentorship and Leadership Development Program in which the students we support are linked to inspiring mentors and participate in online learning through leadership development content, many of which has been shared through the +Acumen Leadership Courses. I am happy to be able to pass on the lessons that I gained from participating in the Leadership Essentials course that I piloted with the VANCOUVER+acumen team last fall.


The Wedu Mentees have set their goals with the help of their amazing mentors. One of these mentors is Tricia Morente, a member of the first class of Acumen Global Fellows in 2007. Tricia inspires her mentee to pursue her dreams, and has said that she gains inspiration and learns from her mentee as well. They meet regularly online and discuss her mentee’s goals, challenges, and views on leadership and social change.

The Mentorship and Leadership Development Program is growing and Wedu needs you! If you have 2-4 hours per month and want to inspire a future leader to have a positive impact on her community, than email or apply now!

We are also always looking to expand our team – join us in Bangkok, Thailand, or work remotely! Check out our list of opportunities here. Or check us out on Facebook and Twitter.


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]