Annual Reports

2022 Annual Report

Our 2022 Annual Report highlights the ways we went bigger and bolder in identifying problems, building markets, and scaling solutions to problems of poverty.

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2021 Annual Report

Over the last 20 years, we have built a global network of leaders and entrepreneurs who are building inclusive businesses, bringing hope to marginalized communities, and forging solutions that offer dignity and opportunity for hundreds of millions of low-income people.

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2020 Annual Report

From mobilizing to raise COVID-19 emergency relief funds to launching Acumen Academy, our 2020 Annual Report explores the resilience of our global community to stand with poor and vulnerable communities in crisis, and beyond.

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2019 Annual Report

In 2019, Acumen’s work came together to create a springboard for unprecedented impact in the years ahead—from developing investment principles to guide our work to laying the foundation for the launch of Acumen Academy.

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2018 Annual Report

In 2018, Acumen expanded its impact across the world, investing patient capital in 13 new companies, successfully exiting three investments, expanding our Fellows Program to two new regions and more.
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15-Year Report

In the 15 years since its founding, Acumen has seen its investees and Fellows transform millions of lives—and honed in on five big ideas to take this impact to the next level.

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Failing Forward: Lessons from Investing at the Edge

A majority of Acumen’s investments have been unsustainable financially, did not have the impact we had hoped, or it is too soon to tell. It’s uncomfortable to talk about failure, but if we don’t, we miss the opportunity to learn and make real progress towards eradicating poverty.

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From Risk to Reward: Lessons from Exiting Patient Capital Investments

Since 2004, Acumen has disbursed over $35 million to 33 different organizations in India. In 2022 we saw evidence that our efforts are bearing fruit: Acumen India negotiated profitable exits from three of our most impactful investments.

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Recipe for Success: Lessons from Acumen’s Cookstove Investments

In this retrospective, Acumen summarizes the key lessons learned from investing over $6 million in five companies that are transforming the way households cook through improved cookstoves and access to cleaner fuels.

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Investing as a Means: 20 Years of Patient Capital

For 20 years, Acumen has invested Patient Capital into social enterprises that serve the needs of people living in poverty. In this report, we share what has worked, what has not, and where we are headed next.

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Bridging The Gap: Pioneer Energy Investment Initiative Report

In 2017, Acumen launched the Pioneer Energy Investment Initiative to transform energy access for low-income individuals. Here are the learnings and critical insights from the initiative and progress made.

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Climate Resilience in India

Building on key insights from India’s 2021 Climate Resilient Agriculture Accelerator—which included 14 climate-focused agriculture enterprises—our latest report makes critical observations to help drive the sector forward.

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This report, reveals the opportunity for corporations and social enterprises to do business together, with 100 examples of corporate-ready social enterprises.

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Resilient. Farmers.

Research findings from a survey of 360 farmers providing critical recommendations for agribusinesses and investors to help low-income farmers to become resilient to the impacts of climate change.

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Inclusive Business Playbook

Drawing on EY and Acumen’s diverse, global experience — the Playbook shares our learnings to help businesses advance inclusion of low-income and marginalized groups and build a new, more inclusive system of capitalism.


Lighting the Way: Roadmap to Exits in Off-Grid Energy

This report seeks to identify the most viable pathways to exit, so companies, investors and other stakeholders can recycle capital into new pioneering companies.

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A Lean Data How to Guide: Understanding Gender Impact (Pt 2)

The Lean Data How-to Guide provides a simple, easy-to-use, and actionable approach to help businesses, program designers, and investors put the voices of those they aim to serve at front and center.

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A Lean Data How to Guide: Understanding Gender Impact (Pt 1)

Acumen and Unilever have partnered to bring a gender lens to impact measurement with a new toolkit designed to better understand how programs and services are affecting women and girls across the globe.

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Cocoa Interrupted

Cocoa Interrupted is an initiative led by Acumen and Hershey’s to explore opportunities for social enterprises to catalyze impact in low-income cocoa growing communities in West Africa.

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Acumen Energy Impact Report

Energy lights up homes and powers communities and businesses. For the last 10 years Acumen has invested to bring energy to the more than 1 billion people living off the grid.

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With the right infusion of capital and support, off-grid solutions could bring power to an additional 620 million people by 2030.

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Innovations in Impact Measurement

Lessons using mobile technology from Acumen’s Lean Data Initiative and Root Capital’s Client-Centric Mobile Measurement.

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Findings from several case studies from Acumen’s portfolio of investments, which demonstrate how social enterprises are engaging and impacting women.

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This report shows that capital alone will not unlock the potential of impact investing and that truly realizing the impact in impact investing will require more, not less, philanthropy.

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Growing Prosperity

Growing Prosperity, a report by Acumen and Bain & Company unveils how social enterprises can find new, effective ways to profitably serve these hard-to-reach customers at scale.

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Classifiying Acumen's Fund Impacts Using the IMP+ACT Classification System

Acumen collaborated with IMP+ACT Alliance, a technology initiative for the public good, to help elevate impact to the forefront of decision making and define success in investing.

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Kenya Education Market Research Summary

Entrepreneurs and investors need reliable, clear market insights to inform decision-making. However there is a lack of this data in Kenya. To address this need, Acumen led a process to gather market-oriented insights on the desires, motivations, perceptions and willingness to pay of key education stakeholders.

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