Acumen started as an idea. Now our investments have impacted over 100 million people.

From banks in rural Pakistan supporting low-income farmers to ambulances in Mumbai with a mandate to “serve all” regardless of income, our companies are solving some of the world’s toughest social problems.

Click on the images below to learn more about our investees and the impact they are having across the globe.

Regions Sectors

Latin America

More than 80 million people live on $4 a day and another 200 million risk being pulled back into poverty due to factors like economic shocks and climate change.

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West Africa

The wealth that has been generated in West Africa has not trickled down to the lowest-income households in the region. 75% of West Africans still live on less than $2 per day.

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GADC Cotton farmer

East Africa

More than 75% of East Africa’s population lives in rural areas, the majority of whom are smallholder farmers living on less than $2 a day.

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Pakistan Floods 1


While Pakistan has experienced rapid economic development, 66% of Pakistan’s 170 million people live on less than $2 a day.

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India 14


76% of India’s 1.2 billion people live on less than two dollars a day.

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Worldwide, as many as 800 million of the extremely poor live in rural areas, and most of them are smallholder farmers.

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Hippocampus Education


Currently, 70% of all children not in school globally are in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. In India alone, 140 million children lack access to education.

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girl with dlight s1 Energy


Acumen’s Energy Portfolio supports solutions that are closing the gap in access to clean, safe, and affordable electricity faced by 1.5 billion people.

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1298 Health


Acumen’s health investments seek to reduce costs and increase access to a wide-range of previously unavailable products and services for the world’s poor.

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AMC Pakistan Housing


Slum-dwellers make up over a third of the world’s urban population — over 1 billion people. Acumen has been investing in affordable housing solutions since 2002.

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Water Fellows


Worldwide, more than 1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, adequate sanitation facilities, and hygiene. Water-related diseases cause millions of deaths each year.

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Driving Social Change

Achieving large-scale social impact is the objective of every investment we make. Knowing whether and how our companies are creating this impact is the challenge.

We don’t believe that measuring “number of customers served” is enough. To build lasting, sustainable solutions to poverty, we need real data on whether our companies are serving the poor—we call this “poverty focus.” We also need to understand the “depth of impact” a given product or service has on people’s lives, so we can learn what products and services are most meaningful to them.

This is why we measure impact across three dimensions: breadth, depth and poverty focus.


Patient capital that dares to go where markets have failed and aid has fallen short

As a non-profit, we raise charitable donations that allow us to make patient long-term debt or equity investments in early-stage companies providing reliable and affordable access to agricultural inputs, quality education, clean energy, healthcare services, formal housing, and safe drinking water to low-income customers.

Acumen invesment model infographic - Partner and Investment page

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Our companies have improved the lives of more than 100 million people around the world, have created or supported tens of thousands of jobs providing income and skills training in the markets we serve, and are beginning to show what is possible in solving the world’s most intractable problems.


Every investment we make has the goal of creating outsized social impact. The headlines are too familiar: billions of people without access to clean drinking water, a safe place to live, high quality healthcare, or reliable and affordable electricity to enhance productivity.  Billions. We bring patient capital to solve some of the world’s toughest problems head-on, and our most important scorecard is impact.

Ultimately our goal is to know with rigor the change in the lives of the poorest our investments catalyze; to understand our successes and failures; and to provide transparency for investors and organizations looking to maximize the social impact that their philanthropic and investment capital can make.


Acumen’s metrics framework is designed to tackle difficult questions – how do we know whether the health clinic we have invested in is truly reaching the poor? How do we measure our financial and social returns against other investors in the sector? How can we judge when an investment has achieved scale and is truly transformational? Are we making a material impact on our mission to change the way the world tackles poverty?

By evaluating financial, operational, and social metrics, including environmental impact, across our portfolio, our approach to impact measurement begins from the moment we start analyzing a new investment opportunity and ends when we share our results and benchmark our performance against industry peers.


Early in our efforts to measure impact we recognized the importance of talking the same language with our peers and donors, and our efforts to achieve this have led the sector. We have been a field-builder in developing infrastructure that has allowed for greater standardization and comparison of performance.

With the support of key partners and the input of the impact investing community, we developed a set of industry standards called the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS), We also helped found the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and the Global Impact Investing Initiative Network (GIIN), and, in partnership with Google and Salesforce, we created the PULSE software platform for metrics collection. PULSE currently allows us to collect data on around 95% of Acumen’s active investments on a monthly basis, and we are working hard to get to 100%.


Although we have demonstrated that our investments can scale and improve tens of millions of lives in the poorest parts of the world, we know that there is more work to do. We must ask tougher questions with conviction, knowing that the answers will take time and knowing also that we need the wisdom to admit failure, and the courage to start again.

Our work in reporting and measuring the social impact of our work continues to evolve, as we do. As we build new infrastructure and make further breakthroughs we are committed to sharing what we are learning. You can keep abreast of these innovations and other news on Acumen by joining our worldwide community.  Click here to learn how you can get involved.

Investment Performance

Creating catalytic and financially sustainable enterprises

Our investment approach helps prove new business models, attracts new investment capital, and helps catalyze new markets that serve the poor. Financial returns generated from our investments are recycled back into Acumen.


Leverage in follow-on capital

or co- investment for every $1 donated


Million Cash Returned

To Acumen from our investments


Million in follow-on

and co-investment capital raised


Exited Companies

from our portfolio