The future depends on a new breed of leader, ready to solve the world’s most challenging problems.

Passion and purpose will only take you so far. Leaders need the right mix of values, skills, and experience.

Leadership Model

Acumen leaders possess a combination of financial expertise, operational expertise, and that special something we call “moral imagination.”

Acumen Leadership Model - 72dpi

Our Leadership Programs

Do you want to step up to make a change in the world? Our leadership programs provide more than skills training. They are an opportunity to dig deep into your vision, your purpose, and your self-knowledge. They bring together like-minded individuals who are as hungry as you are to change the way the world tackles poverty.

GFP Field Michael Craig

Global Fellows Program

A full-time one-year fellowship. 10-12 individuals from all over the world spend two months in New York undergoing intensive leadership training, followed by nine months working with one of Acumen’s portfolio companies.

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Regional Fellows Program

A one-year fellowship currently offered in East Africa, Pakistan or India. 20 individuals in each region participate in intensive seminars and training exercises to improve their capacity to execute on a social change project of their choosing. Participants remain in their full-time jobs while in the program.

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+Acumen

We created +Acumen to give people a meaningful way to “add Acumen” to their lives. +Acumen makes our leadership curriculum available to anyone, globally. Learn through online courses, volunteer through our chapters, or apply to lead a new chapter in your city.

Learn More +

Meet The Leaders

“”

-Anthony Mulli

“”

-Chikako Fujita

“Ken is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of eMobilis.”

-Ken Mwenda Gikunda

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-S. Deepak Kumar

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-Tamsin Chislett

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-Asim Janjua

Bahawalpur City, Pakistan

“”

-Dennis Ochieng

“Ramadhan is the Director of the “We Are Watching You” project which engages communities through music and performances.”

-Ramadhan Obiero

“Safdar is a Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies & Practices (IDSP).”

-Safdar Hussain

“”

-Adrien Couton

“I had a chance to interact with a different kind of philanthropy, one that seeks to reach out to people in need without comprising their dignity. This makes true giving conceivable.”

-Pauline Wanja

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Yousef Alguwaifli

“Asad is the Co-Fonder and Managing Director of the Social Innovation Desk.”

-Asad Ayub

“”

-Jyotirmoy Chatterji

“”

-Wangari Muchoki

“”

-Faiqa Naseem

“”

-Baheirah Khusheim

Hyderabad, India

“”

-Asim Hussnain

“Self-discovery, deepening of maturity, sharpening of tools and expansion of network – what an amazing experience! It is liberating to know that I am not normal but I am sane.”

-Marion Moon

Nairobi, Kenya

“Naeem is the Founder and CEO of Frontier Rural Development Program ”

-Naeem Wazir

“Johnson is the Managing Director of Milango Financial Services.”

-Johnson Kithendu

“”

-Ishira Mehta

“I am in service of those people in the world whose potential is systemically constrained simply because of geography.”

-Mina Shahid

“”

-Maira Riaz

“"Dignity is having the self-reliance to dream and live the seemingly impossible."”

-Javed Cheema

“”

-Adedotun Eyinade

Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

“”

-Gamuchirai Chituri

“Sarah is the Founder and Director of LettuceBee Kids”

-Sarah Adeel

“”

-Prerit Rana

“”

-Tricia Morente

“I have learned to work with uncertainty within and around me.”

-R Michael Craig

New Delhi, India

“”

-Vasumathi Kothuru

“”

-Bavidra Mohan

“The fellowship provided me an opportunity to get to know some talented young people with creative ideas about how to solve problems of the marginalized communities of Pakistan. ”

-Muhammad Saeed Khan

Islamabad, Pakistan

“”

-Joram Gichuki

“”

-Jocelyn Wyatt

“”

-Speciosa Mbula Nguku 

“”

-Habib Ur Rahman

“Abraham is the Founder & Managing Director of KiBO Foundation.”

-Abraham Temu

“Herbert is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Chief Marketing Officer of Virtual Group”

-Herbert Thuo

“I am in service of creating a world where markets and capital work for us and where social entrepreneurs and traditional companies compete to deliver a bigger social impact.”

-Javier Olaguibel

“”

-Jenpu Rongmei

“”

-Heidi Krauel-Patel

“”

-Brenda Wambui

“”

-Jawad Aslam

“”

-Henry Chim

Lahore, Pakistan

“”

-Eda Esilaba

“Mashall is the Founder and Director of Operations of Reading Room Project”

-Mashall Chaudhri

“Leaders need vision: this is a starting point. They also need pragmatism and resolve to see change through. The fellowship cultivates our visions, and trains us to enable change.”

-Tayeb Noorbhai

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

“”

-Sathya Raghu

“Fahad is a Project Manager at Karachi Relief Trust”

-Fahad Asadullah

“Asim is the Director of the Technology for the People Initiative (TPI).”

-Asim Fayaz

“Patricia is the Managing Director of GrowthAfrica Capital.”

-Patricia Leila Jumi

“”

-Luis Lopez Martinelli

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Saad Latif

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

“Stephen is the Chief Accountant at Juhudi Kilimo, which provides financial services to rural smallholder farmers.”

-Stephen Mutai

“”

-Justus Kilian

Gulu, Uganda

“”

-Yuliya Tarasava

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Samia Razaq Khan

“”

-Salma Chaudhry

“My fellowship was crucial; I have the courage to start my enterprise, honing my leadership style in training and experience at GADC and supported by my cohort and Acumen family”

-Natalie Grillon

Gulu, Uganda

“”

-Joanne Schneider

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Suzuka Kobayakawa

Lagos, Nigeria

“Hawah is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Senior Program Coordinator of Educate!”

-Hawah Nabbuye

“”

-Samira Shams

“Isfundiar is the Program Director of the Imran Khan Foundation (IKF).”

-Isfundiar Kasuri

“”

-Asad Ali Shah

“”

-John Collery

Uttarakhand, India

“”

-Tammy Warren

Tigray, Ethiopia

“Julienne is from Kigali, Rwanda and is the Co-Founder and Global Chief of Operations of Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE).”

-Julienne Ingabire

“”

-Sunru Yong

“”

-Sapna Surendran

“My radical idea is to open new pathways for marginalized people to change the world.”

-Miishe Addy

“”

-Mubarik Imam

“Charles is the Founder & Director of EcoPost.”

-Charles Kalama

“”

-Shamim Akhtar

“Mohammad is a Director at the Institute for Development Studies & Practices (IDSP).”

-Mohammad Sadiq

“Edward is a Senior Business Advisor at TechnoServe Uganda, where he is leading the “Consolidating The Gains” project.”

-Edward Agaba

“”

-Jean Chrysostome Rindiro

“”

-Yehia Houry

“Muhammad Ali is an Ashoka Fellow and Founder & Executive Director of Roshni Helpline”

-Muhammad Ali

“”

-Kanan Dhru

“”

-Arushi Chowdhury Khanna

India

“”

-Khuram Hussain

“”

-Nicole Orillac

“Surkhab is the Chief Operating Officer of PAKSBAB.”

-Surkhab Khan

“Julio is the Chief Operating Officer of Nuru Energy, a social enterprise that produces and distributes low-cost lanterns that are rechargeable through pedal generators.”

-Julio De Souza

“”

-Shahzad Akbar

“”

-Ashish Shrivastava

“”

-Cherian Joseph

“Adnan is the Founder and CEO of IdeaCentricity”

-Adnan Khawaja

“”

-David Gatwech Lok

“”

-Meghan Simkins

“”

-Kathleen Berroth

Sogakope, Ghana

“”

-Daniel Tulibagenyi

“”

-Mario Ferro

“”

-Wendy Wallace

“”

-Eric Berkowitz

“”

-Janemary Ruhundwa

“”

-Sophie Forbes

“”

-Ramya Waran

Kigali, Rwanda

“”

-Krupa Patel

“”

-Lucy Mukuria

“”

-Ashweetha Shetty

“”

-Manjushree Patil

“”

-Benje Williams

“”

-Rupal Nayar

“Wambui is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the National Treasurer of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists' and Dentists Union (KMPPDU).”

-Wambui Waithaka

“”

-Sanjukta Das

“”

-Judith Owigar

“”

-Neeladri Bora

“George is from Zanzibar, Tanzania and is the Project Coordinator of Zanzibar Initiative for Youth Association (ZIFYA)”

-George Mkwaya

“”

-Millicent Obare

“I learn to see and treat each individual as a complex being with emotions, struggles and hopes. ”

-Christina Tang

Accra, Ghana

“Martin is from Gulu, Uganda and is the Gulu District Local Government Chairperson, where he serves as the political head of the Gulu district”

-Martin Ojara Mapenduzi

“Ahmad is the Coordinator for the Global Citizen Corps (GCC) Youth Leadership Program.”

-Ahmad Zeb

“”

-Lewitt Somarajan

“”

-Ihitashri Shandilya

“”

-Bryan Farris

“”

-Kennedy Oloo

“”

-Joanna Harries

“”

-Mohammad Kamran Awan

“Abubaker is the Co-Founder and Director of Village Energy.”

-Abubaker Musuuza

“”

-Charu Chadha

“”

-Caren Wakoli

“”

-Havi Murungi

“”

-Elizabeth Maina

“”

-Karthik Janakiraman

“What appeals to me most about Acumen's experiment is that it is working!”

-Catherine Casey Nanda

San Francisco, USA

“”

-Premal Desai

“”

-Josephat Byaruhanga

“Hital is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Corporate Affairs Manager of CISCO”

-Hital Muraj

“”

-Tahir Khilji

“”

-Ayeleen Ajanee Saleh

“”

-Kibret Abebe Tuffa

“”

-Raghav Raghunathan

“”

-Shoaib Iqbal

“”

-Tabinda Baig

“Irfan is the Founder & Lead Partner of Karibu Homes.”

-Irfan Keshavjee

“”

-John Tucker

“”

-Rutendo Change

“”

-James Kassaga Arinaitwe

Bangalore, India

“”

-Rajanthi Manivannan

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Asad Shoaib

“”

-Janet Aika Matemu

“”

-Christine Gitau

“”

-Suhani Mohan

“Zeba is the Regional Program Director of DI”

-Zeba Shafi

“”

-Achyutha Sharma

“”

-Nandita Shetty

“”

-Nadaa Taiyab

“”

-Nivi Mukherjee

“”

-John Sebastian MJ

“”

-Selamawit Terefe Tiruneh

“”

-Birikit Terefe Tiruneh

“Resilience and moral imagination are key in my life. Neither grants nor markets alone will solve poverty but honest engagement with the very people whose problems am solving.”

-Patricia Jumi

Nairobi, Kenya

“It takes more than passion and smarts and a good business model for a social entrepreneur to succeed. Most of all it takes guts and unshakeable commitment.”

-Nicole Iden

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Ramakrishnan Hariharan

“Abid is the President of Nawabshah Disability Forum ”

-Abid Lashari

“Dignity is knowing you have the freedom and opportunity to live your life as you wish and on your own terms without having to depend on anyone else for the right to equal opportunity.”

-Navin Muruga

“”

-Calvince Okello

“David Okello is the General Manager of Coast Coconut Farms.”

-David Okello

“My radical idea is to ensure the success of small to medium enterprises for they are an excellent tool to fight unemployment and poverty. ”

-Tafadzwa Chiganga

“”

-Nicolas Guillen

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Uthara Narayanan

“”

-Kahabi Isangula

“”

-Sidra Qasim

“”

-Kevin Martin

“Robert is from Nyeri, Kenya and is the Manager of Jitunze Environmental Group.”

-Robert Wanjohi

“”

-Aliyah Kurji

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Jonathan Mativo

“”

-Faith Nafula Wafula

“”

-John Mundy

Sogakope, Ghana

“Dignity is the right of all individuals to be treated with equality and respect regardless of their background, color, social status, sexual orientation, gender, income or any other social determinants.”

-Ajay Sharma

“I never knew I had this much potential; it has been a moment of learning and self discovery, great inspiration and encouragement, every leader needs this for progress in our time.”

-Joachim Ewechu

Kampala, Uganda

“My radical idea is to change Africa’s narrative. I believe this is possible only if Africans have access to reliable energy, which will create the capacity for them to transform their lives.”

-Yannick Kala Konga

“”

-Satoko Okamoto

“”

-Olawale (Wale) Ajiboye

Lagos, Nigeria

“Boniface is the Project Director of Picha Mtaani.”

-Boniface Mwangi

“”

-Syed Usman Hamdani

“Maryam is the Director of the Social Innovation Lab at LUMS”

-Maryam Mohiuddin Ahmed

“”

-Muhammad Sabir

“”

-Richard Zulu

“”

-Shafqat Iqbal

“”

-Muhammad Zahoor

“”

-Syed Zaid Bin Rashid

“Imran is the leader of a number of organizations including Dugdugi.”

-Imran Nafees Siddiqui

“Wangikuyu is the Marketing Coordinator for Kickstart International.”

-Wagikuyu Miring'u

“”

-Kirti Vardhana

“Through the Fellowship, I've had to step out of my comfort zone and go the extra mile to appreciate the power of risk taking and achieving things which I could never imagine before.”

-Mohammed Fahim Shelot

Kitale, Kenya

“”

-Shabnam Ramaswamy

“Chris currently works for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.”

-Chris Walker

“”

-Neha Pandya

“”

-Kaushik K

“”

-Swapnil Chaturvedi

“”

-Leonard Imanishimwe

“”

-Ghoncheh Jafarpisheh

“”

-Joel Montgomery

“The Good Society readings inspired me to be more committed to the institutionalization of core governance principles, such as sound public policy, liberty and the rule of law.”

-William Lochi

Juba, The Republic of South Sudan

“Soiya is the Founder and Executive Director of “We The Change” Foundation.”

-Soiya Gecaga

“”

-Madhukar Banuri

“”

-Girdhari Bora

“”

-Gerald Otim

“Being the change I want to see in the world can be a difficult challenge. The Acumen Fellowship has provided me with a vibrant support structure and tools to do good and do well.”

-Majala Mlagui

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Naomi Inoue

“”

-Stephanie Speirs

Gurgaon, India

“Evelyn is from Kampala, Uganda and is the Country Director of Solar Sister”

-Evelyn Namara

“Faith is from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Director of Operations of Jacaranda Health.”

-Faith Muigai

“Mohammad Ahsan is the Executive Director of Rural Development Project ”

-Mohammad Ahsan

“”

-Sachin Gathani

“”

-Dr. Rajat Chabba

“Herbert is from Kigali, Rwanda and is an Analyst with KZ Noir”

-Herbert Mugume

“Joseph is the CEO of Renewable Energy Ventures, which produces and distributes affordable solar lanterns.”

-Joseph Nganga

“Day after day, I take three steps forward and two steps back. Frustrating, but I embrace this journey as I can get stronger only by falling down, getting back up again, and repeat.”

-Junko Tashiro

Sogakope, Ghana

“”

-Amit Gupta

“”

-Vitalis Kahendah

“”

-Sule Amadu

“”

-Paula Hernandez

Mumbai, India

“We came to Acumen looking for answers, yet we found that there is more value in continuing to ask the questions, that these questions often start a much needed conversation.”

-Shahd AlShehail

Bangalore, India

“”

-Abhilasha Sinha

“”

-Sarah Matindi

“Shahid is the Founder of Interfaith Youth in Action (IYA).”

-Shahid Rehmat

“Abubakr is the Chief Coordinator of Akhuwat.”

-Abubakr Siddique

“”

-Jon Stever

“”

-Prerak Mehta

“”

-Jon Yates

“John is the Executive Director of Junior Achievement in Kenya.”

-John Wali

“Leaders aren't usually the best swimmers out there, but are always the first few to take the risk of crossing river. Acumen has taught me that leading the change is worth the risk.”

-Waqas Ali

Lahore, Pakistan

“Joan is the Regional Director for the COFTA.”

-Joan Wangui Karanja

“”

-David Lehr

“”

-Kamanda Kamiri

“”

-Neha Kale

“”

-Andrea Griffin

“”

-Ram Barigela

“”

-Mohammad Umar Ashfaq

Lahore, Pakistan

“”

-Abbas Dadla

“Fahad is a Project Manager with Basic Education and Employable Skills Training ”

-Fahad Afridi

“The fellowship helped me see the world from a different angle - an angle the corporate world is not used to, but which is so important in order to make the world a better place.”

-Abbas Akhtar

Lahore, Pakistan

“Jamshaid is the Manager Projects at Ansaar Management Company ”

-Jamshaid Cheema

“”

-Vimal Kumar

“”

-Billow Hassan

“”

-Abhijeet Barse

“Sumaira is a Program Manager with the Dr. Akhter Hameed Khan Memorial Trust (AHKMT).”

-Sumaira Gul

“George is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Angels Initiative (AI).”

-George William Bakka

Kampala, Uganda

“Rachel is the Co-Founder of Kuweni Serious, which is an online platform that focuses on creating a corps of everyday changemakers.”

-Rachel Gichinga

“Dignity is being able to make your own informed choices and having access to opportunities. ”

-Laura Ruiz Diaz

“I am in service of building stronger, more inclusive communities that help us effectively address today's big, systemic challenges, like poverty and climate change.”

-Ame Igharo

“”

-Keely Stevenson

“Hope is real. Local solutions can be found with patience.”

-Jay Jaboneta

Lahore, Pakistan

“Daniyal is the CEO of KaroKuc”

-Daniyal Noorani

“”

-Eric Kaduru

“Rabia is the Managing Director of SunShine.”

-Rabia Habib

“”

-Ramakrishna NK

“Sarah is the Project Manager of WelTel.”

-Sarah Karanja

Nairobi, Kenya

“Sameen is the Project Manager of Zara Sochiye.”

-Sameen Shahid

“”

-Bailey (Bahareh) Vaez

Hubli, India

“”

-Shane Heywood

“Usman is the Executive Director of the M.H.Sufi Foundation”

-Usman Sufi

“”

-Brenda Williams

“”

-Sarah Dimson

“Imran is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Rabtt”

-Imran Sarwar

“”

-Collins Mugodo

“For me, "patient capital" has transformed from a buzz phrase to something I see creating real value. At d.light, I realize that we're not only providing lights to people, but hope.”

-Mustapha Abokede

Lagos, Nigeria

“Khawaja is the CEO of Tourplanner.pk”

-Khawaja Khalid

“”

-Shahab Siddiqi

“”

-Oliver Dalizu