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

“”

-Sarah Dimson

“”

-Habib Ur Rahman

“”

-Karthik Janakiraman

“”

-Swapnil Chaturvedi

“”

-Yehia Houry

“”

-Asim Hussnain

“”

-Gerald Otim

“”

-Lewitt Somarajan

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-Janemary Ruhundwa

“”

-Vasumathi Kothuru

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

-Joseph Nganga

“”

-Muhammad Sabir

“”

-Bailey (Bahareh) Vaez

Hubli, India

“”

-Shahzad Akbar

“”

-Meghan Simkins

“”

-Mohammad Kamran Awan

“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

“”

-Chikako Fujita

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

-Soiya Gecaga

“”

-Amit Gupta

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

-Faith Muigai

“Zeba is the Regional Program Director of DI”

-Zeba Shafi

“”

-Jon Yates

“”

-Jonathan Mativo

“”

-Brenda Williams

“”

-Nadaa Taiyab

“”

-Kirti Vardhana

“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

“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

“”

-Eric Berkowitz

“”

-Ramya Waran

Kigali, Rwanda

“”

-Ghoncheh Jafarpisheh

“”

-Selamawit Terefe Tiruneh

“”

-Rutendo Change

“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

“”

-Achyutha Sharma

“”

-Girdhari Bora

“”

-Sapna Surendran

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

-Jay Jaboneta

Lahore, Pakistan

“”

-Asim Janjua

Bahawalpur City, Pakistan

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

-Isfundiar Kasuri

“Surkhab is the Chief Operating Officer of PAKSBAB.”

-Surkhab Khan

“”

-Abhilasha Sinha

“”

-Suzuka Kobayakawa

Lagos, Nigeria

“Boniface is the Project Director of Picha Mtaani.”

-Boniface Mwangi

“”

-Bryan Farris

“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

“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

“”

-Lucy Mukuria

“Sarah is the Founder and Director of LettuceBee Kids”

-Sarah Adeel

“”

-Eric Kaduru

“”

-Maira Riaz

“”

-Shane Heywood

“”

-Joanna Harries

“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

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

-Mohammad Sadiq

“”

-Joanne Schneider

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Syed Zaid Bin Rashid

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

-Naeem Wazir

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

-Laura Ruiz Diaz

“”

-Arushi Chowdhury Khanna

India

“”

-Paula Hernandez

Mumbai, India

“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

“I’m in service of ensuring that I make a real contribution with all of the experience, education and skills that I have, towards a better world where future global citizens will flourish!”

-Lorenn Ruster

“”

-Shahab Siddiqi

“”

-Jawad Aslam

“”

-Elizabeth Maina

“”

-Nicolas Guillen

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Judith Owigar

“”

-Tamsin Chislett

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

-Christina Tang

Accra, Ghana

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

-Herbert Mugume

“”

-Shamim Akhtar

“”

-Yuliya Tarasava

Nairobi, Kenya

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

-Sumaira Gul

“”

-Christine Gitau

“”

-Sarah Matindi

“”

-Neha Pandya

“Charles is the Founder & Director of EcoPost.”

-Charles Kalama

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

-Abubaker Musuuza

“”

-Sidra Qasim

“”

-Muhammad Zahoor

“”

-Ayeleen Ajanee Saleh

“”

-Wendy Wallace

“”

-Naomi Inoue

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

-Hawah Nabbuye

“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

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

-Robert Wanjohi

“”

-Shafqat Iqbal

“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

“”

-Raghav Raghunathan

“”

-Sophie Forbes

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

-Imran Nafees Siddiqui

“Abubakr is the Chief Coordinator of Akhuwat.”

-Abubakr Siddique

“”

-Kamanda Kamiri

“”

-Shabnam Ramaswamy

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

-Shahid Rehmat

“”

-Manjushree Patil

“”

-Andrea Griffin

“Adnan is the Founder and CEO of IdeaCentricity”

-Adnan Khawaja

“”

-Asad Shoaib

“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

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-Henry Chim

Lahore, Pakistan

“”

-Adrien Couton

“”

-Prerak Mehta

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

-Asad Ayub

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

-Evelyn Namara

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

-Catherine Casey Nanda

San Francisco, USA

“”

-Sule Amadu

“”

-Ashish Shrivastava

“”

-Syed Usman Hamdani

“”

-Mohammad Umar Ashfaq

Lahore, Pakistan

“”

-Aliyah Kurji

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Tahir Khilji

“”

-Heidi Krauel-Patel

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

-David Okello

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

-Chris Walker

“”

-Oliver Dalizu

“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

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

-Wambui Waithaka

“”

-Collins Mugodo

“”

-Joram Gichuki

“”

-John Tucker

“”

-James Kassaga Arinaitwe

Bangalore, India

“”

-Richard Zulu

“Sarah is the Project Manager of WelTel.”

-Sarah Karanja

Nairobi, Kenya

“”

-Premal Desai

“Daniyal is the CEO of KaroKuc”

-Daniyal Noorani

“”

-Kibret Abebe Tuffa

“”

-Keely Stevenson

“”

-Cherian Joseph

“”

-Speciosa Mbula Nguku 

“”

-Nicole Orillac

“Khawaja is the CEO of Tourplanner.pk”

-Khawaja Khalid

“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

“”

-Krupa Patel

“”

-Mario Ferro

“”

-Birikit Terefe Tiruneh

“”

-S. Deepak Kumar

“”

-Shoaib Iqbal

“”

-Jean Chrysostome Rindiro

“”

-Dennis Ochieng

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

-Johnson Kithendu

“”

-Faith Nafula Wafula

“”

-Suhani Mohan

“”

-Jocelyn Wyatt

“”

-Faiqa Naseem

“My radical idea of hope is investing our lessons from the past and the facts of our present to build a future for every human being.”

-Lujain Al Ubaid

“”

-Calvince Okello

“”

-Sunru Yong

“”

-Dr. Rajat Chabba

“”

-Sachin Gathani

“”

-Kennedy Oloo

“”

-David Gatwech Lok

“”

-Billow Hassan

“”

-Samira Shams

“”

-Anthony Mulli

“”

-Wangari Muchoki

“Joan is the Regional Director for the COFTA.”

-Joan Wangui Karanja

“”

-Leonard Imanishimwe

“Fahad is a Project Manager at Karachi Relief Trust”

-Fahad Asadullah

“”

-Nandita Shetty

“”

-Vimal Kumar

“”

-Luis Lopez Martinelli

Nairobi, Kenya

“My radical idea of hope exists in the place where profitable business means making the quality of everyone's life better.”

-Seema Thakker

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

-R Michael Craig

New Delhi, India

“”

-Abhijeet Barse

“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

“”

-Adedotun Eyinade

Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

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

-Ken Mwenda Gikunda

“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

“”

-Ashweetha Shetty

“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

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

-Stephen Mutai

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

-Maryam Mohiuddin Ahmed

“”

-Tabinda Baig

“”

-Charu Chadha

“”

-Stephanie Speirs

Gurgaon, India

“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

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

-Edward Agaba

“”

-Sanjukta Das

“”

-Baheirah Khusheim

Hyderabad, India

“”

-Ram Barigela

“”

-Kevin Martin

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

-Ahmad Zeb

“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

“”

-Kanan Dhru

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

-Usman Sufi

“”

-David Lehr

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

-Ramadhan Obiero

“”

-Kahabi Isangula

“”

-Jenpu Rongmei

“”

-Eda Esilaba

“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

“Abid is the President of Nawabshah Disability Forum ”

-Abid Lashari

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

-Fahad Afridi

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

-Hital Muraj

“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

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

-George Mkwaya

“”

-Saad Latif

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

“Rabia is the Managing Director of SunShine.”

-Rabia Habib

“”

-Daniel Tulibagenyi

“”

-Asad Ali Shah

“”

-Kaushik K

“”

-John Collery

Uttarakhand, India

“”

-Satoko Okamoto

“”

-Uthara Narayanan

“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

“”

-Brenda Wambui

“”

-Khuram Hussain

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

-Muhammad Ali

“”

-Prerit Rana

“”

-Kathleen Berroth

Sogakope, Ghana

“”

-Josephat Byaruhanga

“”

-John Mundy

Sogakope, Ghana

“”

-Janet Aika Matemu

“”

-Benje Williams

“”

-Justus Kilian

Gulu, Uganda

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

-Irfan Keshavjee

“”

-Neeladri Bora

“”

-Tammy Warren

Tigray, Ethiopia

“”

-Neha Kale

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

-Abraham Temu

“”

-Vitalis Kahendah

“”

-Salma Chaudhry

“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 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

“”

-Tricia Morente

“”

-Nivi Mukherjee

“”

-Havi Murungi

“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

“”

-Ihitashri Shandilya

“”

-Ramakrishna NK

“”

-Jyotirmoy Chatterji

“”

-Madhukar Banuri

“Jamshaid is the Manager Projects at Ansaar Management Company ”

-Jamshaid Cheema

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

-Asim Fayaz

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

-Safdar Hussain

“”

-Abbas Dadla

“”

-Ishira Mehta

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

-Mina Shahid

“”

-Sathya Raghu

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

-Herbert Thuo

“”

-Bavidra Mohan

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

-Javed Cheema

“”

-Gamuchirai Chituri

“”

-Ramakrishnan Hariharan

“”

-Jon Stever

“”

-Mubarik Imam

“”

-Yousef Alguwaifli

“”

-Joel Montgomery

“Wangikuyu is the Marketing Coordinator for Kickstart International.”

-Wagikuyu Miring'u

“”

-Rupal Nayar

“”

-Olawale (Wale) Ajiboye

Lagos, Nigeria

“”

-Millicent Obare

“”

-Caren Wakoli

“”

-Samia Razaq Khan

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

-Mashall Chaudhri

“Patricia is the Managing Director of GrowthAfrica Capital.”

-Patricia Leila Jumi

“”

-Rajanthi Manivannan

Nairobi, Kenya

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

-Imran Sarwar

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

-Julienne Ingabire

“”

-John Sebastian MJ

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

-John Wali

“Sameen is the Project Manager of Zara Sochiye.”

-Sameen Shahid

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

-George William Bakka

Kampala, Uganda

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

-Mohammad Ahsan