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AquaRech is digitizing aquaculture on Lake Victoria

By Jared Proudfoot on February 08, 2024

Dave Okech remembers the rich life around Lake Victoria. Born and raised on its shores, he witnessed its flourishing biodiversity and the generations who thrived on its seemingly unlimited supply of fresh fish. But by the mid-90s, overfishing, invasive species, and pollution had cast a shadow. "When my community around Victoria was harvesting fish, life was great," Okech says via Zoom from the lake's edge....
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Acumen Blog

Ampersand is leading the e-mobility revolution across Africa

By Jared Proudfoot on January 25, 2024

Call them boda bodas, piki pikis, or motos. Motorbike taxis are an increasingly popular mode of transportation in East Africa. And for good reason. They are an affordable, convenient, and zippy form of travel in the region’s bustling meccas.  For the last 50 years, the mass of motorized bikes has played a key role in the region’s social and economic life, providing rides to work,...
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In the Media

Top Organizations Unlock New Investments to Support the World’s Most Vulnerable

By World Economic Forum on January 23, 2024

Acumen has joined the World Economic Forum Humanitarian and Resilience Investing (HRI) Initiative alongside others to collectively advance impact investing in frontier markets, particularly to support the most vulnerable communities. Together there is an opportunity to unleash over $15 billion in commercial and catalytic capital to scale sustainable impact.
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In the Media

Building A Solar Power Ecosystem In 16 Sub-Saharan African Countries

By Anne Field, Forbes on January 17, 2024

How to give households in the poorest and toughest-to-reach countries in sub-Saharan Africa access to electricity? How to do that, while also building a sustainable and thriving solar power industry in those markets?
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Acumen Blog

Social Innovation's Toll: Experimenting with Vulnerable Communities

By Jared Proudfoot, Coco Lim, and Dan Waldron on January 16, 2024

Content Warning: This post contains mention of suicide. If you need support, please seek assistance through available resources.   Social innovators – inclusive of investors like Acumen and the entrepreneurs we fund – walk a fine line. We invest in early-stage companies to address problems of poverty, but to do that our investees must work closely with vulnerable people. Every day we grapple with tough questions...
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Acumen Blog

Climbing Mountains to Build a World Based on Dignity with Winter Van Alstine

December 18, 2023

One day after her 40th birthday, on July 27, 2023, Winter Van Alstine conquered the Everesting Challenge on Aspen Mountain in Colorado. The feat required hiking the mountain, bottom to top, nine times without sleep. It took Winter 21 hours and 30 minutes, and through her efforts, she was able to raise a total of $10,000 for Acumen.  What inspired you to take on this...
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Press Release

Acumen Launches New Hardest-to-Reach Initiative to Achieve Universal Energy Access

December 04, 2023

Hardest-to-Reach is the First Blended Finance Initiative Exclusively Dedicated To Expanding Clean And Affordable Energy Access In Africa’s Underserved Markets WORLDWIDE—Today, Acumen launched Hardest-to-Reach, a $250 million initiative to activate clean energy markets in Africa’s underserved geographies. Critical to achieving universal energy access, the initiative was unveiled at the SDG7 Pavilion at COP28 alongside key supporter the Green Climate Fund (GCF). It will build on...
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In the Media

Acumen, Climate Fund Have $250 Million Solar Plan for Africa’s Poorest Nations

By Antony Sguazzin, Bloomberg on December 04, 2023

The world’s biggest climate fund is backing Acumen, a US-based company that promotes universal energy access, in establishing a $250 million facility to bring electricity from off-grid solar projects to 72 million people in some of Africa’s poorest countries.
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Acumen Blog

The Risk and Reward of Bringing Modern Energy to Hard-to-Reach Markets

By Joel Sam and Dan Waldron on November 16, 2023

In a world where electricity is an everyday convenience for billions, there are still 675 million people living without access to this essential resource. A staggering 80% of these individuals reside in sub-Saharan Africa, their lives out of the spotlight, and lacking the opportunities that electricity could bring. Amidst this challenging landscape, a group of 16 sub-Saharan African (SSA) nations remain largely overlooked, their streets...
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In the Media

In Impact Investing, Failure is Good – If We Learn and Share the Lessons

By Amrita Bhandari, Impact Alpha on November 02, 2023

Failures are moments of understanding of what continues to be broken in the system and where we need to keep iterating. Innovation is born from trial and error, experimentation and iteration, success and failure. And nowhere is innovation more critical than social entrepreneurship, where we urgently need to move beyond the status quo.  
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In the Media

By Chris Emmott, Next Billion on December 08, 2023

To realise the true potential of PUE, the social enterprise sector needs to devise new business models that remove risk so that the most vulnerable can access life-changing technologies.
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Acumen Blog

What Women Entrepreneurs Need: Investing in Gender Equity

By Lindsay Camacho, Leonie Jarrett, Jedidah Ndubi, and Margaret Wanjiku on October 26, 2023

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Acumen Blog

Impact at the Edge: Making Every Voice Count

By Taanya Khare, Senior Associate of Impact, Acumen on October 11, 2023

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Press Release

October 11, 2023

October 11, 2023 – New York, NY – Acumen's community has surpassed 500 million lives impacted as of December 2022, a momentous milestone that demonstrates significant progress on its mission to solve problems of poverty. The total number – 501.2 million lives – stems from...
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Acumen Blog

By Caitlin Ferguson and Sabrina Lee Sanchez on October 06, 2023

By the year 2050, Africa’s population is projected to more than double, reaching a staggering 2.4 billion people. African agriculture plays a critical role in both employment and food security of the continent — over half of sub-Saharan Africa’s employed people work in agriculture. The...
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In the Media

By Mahesh Yagnaraman, Impact Alpha on August 17, 2023

To achieve more meaningful impact, impact investors should not only focus on finding the next unicorn. We need to also invest in zebras, which “are real … are both black and white, striving for both profit AND purpose…are collaborative and feisty as they build businesses that...
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In the Media

July 13, 2023

Apple today announced in its Newsroom a new partnership with Acumen to support social enterprises in India to improve livelihoods through clean energy innovation. Through the Energy for Livelihoods Accelerator, Acumen experts will lead a 12-week program designed to help social entrepreneurs scale and refine...
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