December 1, 2012 Acumen’s investment in Avani Bio Energy, which converts hazardous pine needles into electricity, is featured in BusinessWorld India. Check out how Avani reduces the risk of forest fires while providing renewable energy and a new income source for people in rural India.
We won't succeed alone, which is why we share ideas that empower others to make change.
We are taking the very best ideas, distilled from more than a decade of investing in companies and leaders, and synthesizing and sharing them globally, so others can accelerate their impact. We know we don’t have all the answers, but hope what we share can push us to keep asking the right questions.
It starts by standing with the poor, listening to voices unheard, and recognizing potential where others see despair. It demands investing as a means, not an end, daring... [READ MORE]
It starts by standing with the poor, listening to voices unheard,
and recognizing potential where others see despair.
It demands investing as a means, not an end, daring to go
where markets have failed and aid has fallen short. It makes
capital work for us, not control us.
It thrives on moral imagination: the humility to see the world
as it is, and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be.
It’s having the ambition to learn at the edge, the wisdom to
admit failure, and the courage to start again.
It requires patience and kindness, resilience and grit: a
hard-edged hope. It’s leadership that rejects complacency,
breaks through bureaucracy, and challenges corruption.
Doing what’s right, not what’s easy.
Acumen: it’s the radical idea of creating hope in a cynical
world. Changing the way the world tackles poverty and
building a world based on dignity.
Winter 2013 Closing the Pioneer Gap By Sasha Dichter, Robert Katz, Harvey Koh, & Ashish Karamchandani More money than ever is flowing into impact... [READ MORE]
Winter 2013 Closing the Pioneer Gap
By Sasha Dichter, Robert Katz, Harvey Koh, & Ashish Karamchandani
More money than ever is flowing into impact investing, yet many entrepreneurs creating companies that serve the poor still find it difficult to raise capital, particularly at the early stages of their company’s growth.
February 26, 2013 What's the difference between someone with a good idea and a person who can transform their ideas into real impact? To tackle the world's... [READ MORE]
February 26, 2013 What’s the difference between someone with a good idea and a person who can transform their ideas into real impact? To tackle the world’s biggest problems, we need to be able to identify and support the people who are capable of creating lasting change. At Acumen, we spend a lot of time trying to find and train aspiring and established leaders from around the world who have the right mix of talent, ideas, and passion.
And what we’ve found time and again is: Resilience matters most.
September 2011 Nothing about this work is easy. We are proud of our accomplishments over our first ten years, but we’ve learned at least as much from our... [READ MORE]
September 2011 Nothing about this work is easy. We are proud of our accomplishments over our first ten years, but we’ve learned at least as much from our struggles along the way. While we know we don’t have all the answers, there are some important truths we have discovered in doing this work. These ten truths will guide our work in the next decade and beyond.
March 8, 2013 Jacqueline Novogratz joined an inspiring line-up of speakers at TEDxEuston 2012. What makes TEDxEuston unique is that is focuses on spreading the work and ideas of a new generation of African leadership. The talks are presented to a mainly African audience, and especially those who are living outside the continent seeking to engage with Africa in an active and meaningful way.
Jacqueline’s talk touches on the themes of identity, finding meaning, and “coming home” to your true self through the relationships you create and the ideas you hold dear. She also highlights our work in Africa with a broad range of investee companies: from combating counterfeit medicine through Sproxil’s mobile production authentication to restoring economic livelihoods in war-torn Northern Uganda with Gulu Agricultural Development Company.
Explore Our Ideas
December 1, 2012 Acumen's investment in Avani Bio Energy, which converts hazardous pine needles into electricity, is featured... [READ MORE]
January 5, 2012. White paper published 2012 by Brian Trelstad and Robert Katz A key question many impact investors have... [READ MORE]
January 5, 2012. White paper published 2012 by Brian Trelstad and Robert Katz
A key question many impact investors have is how best to arrange the financing mix of the social businesses they support in order to achieve greatest possible impact. Acumen Fund has worked with thousands of social enterprises to help them scale their businesses. The chapter shares Acumen’s insight into how best to help social enterprises navigate the path towards scale and sustainability.
May 21, 2009 From the Economist, a profile on Jacqueline Novogratz and Acumen's work to transform the world's approach to development... [READ MORE]
September 2011 MIT's Innovations Journal - SOCAP11: Impact Investing... [READ MORE]
September 2011 MIT’s Innovations Journal – SOCAP11: Impact Investing Special Edition by Brian Trelstad and Robert Katz
This paper argues that there are three paths to scale for a social enterprise – mission, margin, and mandate. The strategies needed, the time frames required, the management skills, and the sources of capital differ for each path. How do social enterprises navigate mission, margin, and mandate? What lessons can we learn from organizations that have achieved scale?
July 9, 2012 An overview of Acumen's investing model featuring Husk Power Systems, a social enterprise that generates renewable... [READ MORE]
We are living in a world where the majority of people live in cities and 1 billion live in slums, a figure that will double by 2030. Urban populations... [READ MORE]
We are living in a world where the majority of people live in cities and 1 billion live in slums, a figure that will double by 2030. Urban populations are growing at a rate much faster than can be absorbed and managed, causing demands on services and infrastructure that massively outstrip supply. In many emerging market cities, this leaves the majority of residents with few options but to live in slums.
Increasing access to high-quality affordable housing has a profound impact, both for the individual and society at large. Yet, housing is a challenging and capital-intensive sector characterized by delays and regulatory difficulties, and as a result, it rarely gains the limelight for impact investors and social entrepreneurs.
Check out Jacqueline's most recent thought pieces in The Huffington Post.
December 2010 Inspiring a Life of Immersion. We each want to live a life of purpose, but where to start? In this luminous,... [READ MORE]
December 2010 Inspiring a Life of Immersion. We each want to live a life of purpose, but where to start? In this luminous, wide-ranging TED talk, Jacqueline Novogratz introduces us to people she’s met in her work in “patient capital” — people who have immersed themselves in a cause, a community, a passion for justice. These human stories carry powerful moments of inspiration.
November 2010 In this chapter from [READ MORE]
November 2010 In this chapter from Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid, co-authors Robert Kennedy and Jacqueline Novogratz explain how social entrepreneurs and “philanthrocapitalists” are changing the BoP landscape by connecting innovative business approaches to “patient capital”—i.e., money that is expected to generate returns over a longer period than is typical of (say) venture capital. They identify four types of innovation that are proving critically important to success in operating in BoP markets, and show how a range of enterprises are applying these approaches in the field. The past decade has witnessed a revolution in thinking about how to address the persistent issue of poverty. Thoughtful observers in government, business, and nonprofits are moving beyond the old “markets versus development assistance” debate and are now converging on a new approach to addressing poverty.
Click here to buy Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid by Ted London and Stuart L Hart.
September 2011 In this inspiring talk at the NextGen:Charity conference, Sasha Dichter, Chief Innovation Officer at Acumen,... [READ MORE]