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 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 10years

    10 Things We've Learned About Tackling Global Poverty

    September 2011 Nothing about this work is easy. We are proud of our accomplishments over our first ten years, but we’ve learned... [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.

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  • Close Drawer pbsnewshour

    PBS NewsHour Video

    April 2010 NewsHour's Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from Kenya, on Acumen Fund and our investee company... [READ MORE]

    April 2010 NewsHour’s Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from Kenya, on Acumen Fund and our investee company EcoTact, where private capital is being used to help install toilets and sanitation facilities in the country’s poorest areas.

  • 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 forbes

    Innovation Saves the World

    A profile on Acumen and its founder and CEO, Jacqueline Novogratz from the December 2011 issue of Forbes Magazine.
  • 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.

  • Close Drawer JN - TEDxEuston 2012

    Power in Our Interconnectedness

    March 8, 2013 Jacqueline Novogratz joined an inspiring line-up of speakers at  [READ MORE]

    Power in Our Interconnectedness

    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.

  • Close Drawer baco

    The Best Available Charitable Option

    January 2007 Rather than seek an absolute standard for social return across an extremely diverse portfolio, Acumen looks to quantify... [READ MORE]

    January 2007 Rather than seek an absolute standard for social return across an extremely diverse portfolio, Acumen looks to quantify an investment’s social impact and compare it to the universe of existing charitable options for that explicit social issue. Specifically, this tool helps inform investors where their philanthropic capital will be most effective—answering the question “For each dollar invested, how much social output will this generate over the life of the investment relative to the best available charitable option?”

    This methodology, which we call the BACO ratio (for “best available charitable option”), is a useful starting point for assessing the social impact and cost-effectiveness of each of our investments. The point of the analysis is to inform our portfolio decision-making with a quantifiable indication of whether our social investment will “outperform” a plausible alternative.

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  • Close Drawer ZHL 1298

    Dial 1298 for Ambulance

    January 28, 2009 GOOD Magazine produced a video featuring our investee, Ziqitza Health Care Limited, which provides emergency... [READ MORE]

    Dial 1298 for Ambulance

    January 28, 2009 GOOD Magazine produced a video featuring our investee, Ziqitza Health Care Limited, which provides emergency medical services in India.

  • Close Drawer huffpo

    Jacqueline Novogratz writes for the Huffington Post

    Check out Jacqueline's most recent thought pieces in The Huffington Post.
  • Close Drawer newyorktimes

    NYTimes Corner Office Interview

    September 29 2012 A "Corner Office" interview with Jacqueline Novogratz. During the interview conducted by Adam Bryant, Jacqueline... [READ MORE]

    September 29 2012 A “Corner Office” interview with Jacqueline Novogratz. During the interview conducted by Adam Bryant, Jacqueline discusses her approach to leadership, the culture and values at Acumen, and her approach to finding the best talent for Acumen.

  • Close Drawer 100 Million Lives video screenshot

    100 Million Lives Impacted

    February 2013 Acumen combines the best of charity and market-based approaches to tackle poverty. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit,... [READ MORE]

    100 Million Lives Impacted

    February 2013 Acumen combines the best of charity and market-based approaches to tackle poverty. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, we raise charitable funds to invest in social enterprises that deliver affordable, critical goods and services to the poor.

    We support companies in India, Pakistan, and East and West Africa investing in the health, housing, water, energy, agriculture, and education sectors. 100% of your donations are invested in the entrepreneurs, leaders, and ideas that support our mission of changing the way the world tackles poverty.

  • 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.

  • 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.