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.

Explore Our Ideas

  • Close Drawer nicholas-kristof

    Investing to fight poverty

    January 6, 2009 Investing to fight poverty By NICHOLAS KRISTOF One of the most interesting innovators in aid and development... [READ MORE]

    January 6, 2009 Investing to fight poverty
    By NICHOLAS KRISTOF

    One of the most interesting innovators in aid and development is Jacqueline Novogratz, a New Yorker, the CEO of the Acumen Fund. She is, what? An aid worker? A banker? A bleeding-heart venture capitalist? A tough-minded philanthropist? All of the above? 

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  • Close Drawer huffpo

    Jacqueline Novogratz writes for the Huffington Post

    Check out Jacqueline's most recent thought pieces in The Huffington Post.
  • Close Drawer JN - TED 2011 Immersion

    Inspiring a life of immersion

    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]

    Inspiring a life of immersion

    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.

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  • Close Drawer

    Innovation for the BoP

    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.

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  • Close Drawer Sasha Dichter

    The Generosity Experiment

    September 2011 In this inspiring talk at the NextGen:Charity conference, Sasha Dichter, Chief Innovation Officer at Acumen,... [READ MORE]

    The Generosity Experiment

    September 2011 In this inspiring talk at the NextGen:Charity conference, Sasha Dichter, Chief Innovation Officer at Acumen, shares the results of his month-long “Generosity Experiment” where he said “yes” to every request for help.

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  • Close Drawer Capital Curve - screenshot

    Creating a Capital Curve for Social Enterprises

    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.

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  • Close Drawer economist

    The Patient Capitalist - The Economist

    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]

    May 21, 2009 From the Economist, a profile on Jacqueline Novogratz and Acumen’s work to transform the world’s approach to development through patient capital.

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  • Close Drawer missionmarginmandate

    Mission, Margin, Mandate: Three paths to scale

    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?

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  • Close Drawer Are You Ready - video screenshot

    Are You Ready?

    July 9, 2012 An overview of Acumen's investing model featuring Husk Power Systems, a social enterprise that generates renewable... [READ MORE]

    Are You Ready?

    July 9, 2012 An overview of Acumen’s investing model featuring Husk Power Systems, a social enterprise that generates renewable energy and distributes it through mini-grids in rural Bihar, India.

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  • Close Drawer bluesweater

    The Blue Sweater Teaching Guide

    September 2010 This teaching guide is designed to facilitate instruction of The Blue Sweater, the bestselling book... [READ MORE]

    September 2010 This teaching guide is designed to facilitate instruction of The Blue Sweater, the bestselling book by Acumen founder and CEO, Jacqueline Novogratz, by highlighting and organizing its key themes, summarizing each chapter, and providing suggested discussion questions. It also includes supplemental readings to broaden students’ understanding of leadership and development themes beyond the book.

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