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

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    Growing Prosperity: Developing Repeatable Models® to Scale the Adoption of agriculture innovations

    Our new report, written in conjunction with Bain & Company, and with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, unveils what is... [READ MORE]

    Our new report, written in conjunction with Bain & Company, and with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, unveils what is needed to truly scale agricultural innovations to reach millions of smallholder farmers. Learn more.

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    Ziqitza Health Care Limited

    December 2011 Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs Shabdha Chigurupati, Eric Jones, and Angela Ramirez This case... [READ MORE]

    December 2011 Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs

    Shabdha Chigurupati, Eric Jones, and Angela Ramirez

    This case study on Ziqitza Healthcare Limited is one of a series of case studies produced by the Yale undergraduate class members of Social Enterprise in Developing Economies, a seminar designed to study current trends in development opportunities using business models toward building sustainable enterprises addressing the needs of some of the poorest members of society.

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    Jacqueline at TED - A third way to think about aid

    June 2009 The debate over foreign aid often pits those who mistrust "charity" against those who mistrust reliance on the markets.... [READ MORE]

    Jacqueline at TED - A third way to think about aid

    June 2009 The debate over foreign aid often pits those who mistrust “charity” against those who mistrust reliance on the markets. Jacqueline Novogratz proposes a middle way she calls patient capital, with promising examples of entrepreneurial innovation driving social change.

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    The Acumen Manifesto

    It starts by standing with the poor, listening to voices unheard, and recognizing potential where others see despair. It demands investing... [READ MORE]

    The Acumen Manifesto

    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.

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    Firing Up Dreams - Avani Bio Energy

    December 1, 2012 Acumen's investment in Avani Bio Energy, which converts hazardous pine needles into electricity, is  featured... [READ MORE]

    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.

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    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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    Unleashing the potential of impact investing

    November 29, 2012 The recent devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy acts as an acute reminder of the importance of critical... [READ MORE]

    November 29, 2012 The recent devastation wreaked by Hurricane Sandy acts as an acute reminder of the importance of critical services for daily survival – energy, water, sanitation, healthcare, housing. Yet for many of the world’s poor, the lack of such services is the prevailing norm. In the absence of public good provision, and with the conventional markets largely bypassing the poor, charities and social enterprises are playing an increasingly important role to fill this gap.

    Yet even the most innovative organisations tackling global poverty issues face tremendous funding pressure. Organisations are increasingly being asked direct and tough questions: “What will happen to this programme when our funding ends?” “If I help to grow an organisation delivering critical services, how will it be sustained in the long-term?”

     

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    Poverty Profile of Ziqitza's Clients

    August 2014 A report commissioned by Acumen to understand the poverty profile of ZHL’s clients in the states of Odisha (formerly... [READ MORE]

    August 2014 A report commissioned by Acumen to understand the poverty profile of ZHL’s clients in the states of Odisha
    (formerly Orissa) and Punjab using the Progress out of
    Poverty Index® in a call centre setting.

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    Sproxil Case Study: Saving Lives with Technology

    March 2013 William Davidson Institute at University of Michigan Dr. Prashant Yadav In 2010, Sproxil began making revenue,... [READ MORE]

    March 2013 William Davidson Institute at University of Michigan Dr. Prashant Yadav

    In 2010, Sproxil began making revenue, but then had to find sources of commercial investment to build the Sproxil brand and keep it sustainable.

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    Behind the Manifesto

    April 18, 2013 Go behind the Acumen Manifesto to understand what it really means to stand with the poor and change the way the... [READ MORE]

    Behind the Manifesto

    April 18, 2013 Go behind the Acumen Manifesto to understand what it really means to stand with the poor and change the way the world is tackling poverty. 

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    JS Bank and Acumen launch Pakistan Fellows Program

    Acumen, in partnership with JS Bank, the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, launched the Pakistan... [READ MORE]

    Acumen, in partnership with JS Bank, the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, launched the Pakistan Regional Fellows Program in 2013 to develop the next generation of social change leaders for Pakistan.

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    Stanford Social Innovation Review: Closing the Pioneer Gap

    Winter 2013 Closing the Pioneer Gap By Sasha Dichter, Robert Katz, Harvey Koh, & Ashish Karamchandani More money than... [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.

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    Live the Questions: Jacqueline Novogratz’s Advice to Graduates

    May 29, 2012 Live the Questions: Jacqueline Novogratz’s Advice to Graduates by Maria Popova “Inspiring hope in a... [READ MORE]

    May 29, 2012 Live the Questions: Jacqueline Novogratz’s Advice to Graduates
    by Maria Popova

    “Inspiring hope in a cynical world might be the most radical thing you can possibly do.”

    ‘Tis the season for exceptional graduation speeches, in which cultural icons bequeath their life’s wisdom to a new generation of, ideally, hungry-eyed thinkers and doers — icons like Neil Gaiman, David Foster Wallace, Ellen DeGeneres, Aaron Sorkin, Barack Obama, Ray Bradbury, J. K. Rowling, Steve Jobs, Robert Krulwich, Meryl Streep, and Jeff Bezos. This month, one of my big heroes, Acumen founder Jacqueline Novogratz, addressed departing Gettysburg College seniors and imparted upon them, through anecdotes from her own remarkable story, a handful of beautiful aspirations to live by, summarized below. 

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    Bridging the Gap Between Charity, Business

    December 26, 2012 Impact investing is drawing more attention from philanthropists excited by the possibility that their donations... [READ MORE]

    December 26, 2012 Impact investing is drawing more attention from philanthropists excited by the possibility that their donations can both help people and support businesses with a social mission. Jacqueline Novogratz, chief executive of the Acumen Fund, speaks with Wealth Management at WSJ.com about the field, her fund and how impact investing can fit into a client’s overall giving strategy.

    Read the interview