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2018 Annual Report

2 children standing outside of a school in Sierra Leone

In 2018, we invested Patient Capital in 13 new companies, successfully exited three investments, and expanded our Fellows Program to two new regions.

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At Acumen, we believe tackling poverty takes entrepreneurs and leaders with character, competence and moral leadership. For nearly two decades, we’ve sought them out, invested in them and accompanied them on every step of their journey. And 2018 was no exception.

In the last year, Acumen invested philanthropic capital in 13 companies tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges–from the opioid crisis in the United States to energy access in Tanzania–and proved our patient capital model by exiting and recycling the returns from three investments in our portfolio.

We expanded our Fellows program to two new regions where we saw local leaders taking risks and building solutions to the problems of poverty. And, given the importance of character in all we do, ramped up our efforts to develop more moral leaders by laying the groundwork for Acumen Academy, a global leadership university reimagined.

We welcome you to explore the breadth of our work in 2018 through our newly released Annual Report, including:

  • How clean-energy investee d.light design scaled from a prototype to impacting more than 90 million lives, leading to a major investment exit for Acumen.
  • How Acumen used LeanData(SM) to solve a sales roadblock for solar-energy investee Easy Solar in Sierra Leone.
  • What we learned from a clean-water startup in Pakistan that was forced to close its doors last year.
  • How one Acumen Fellow is challenging taboos around menstruation in India and has sold more than 2 million low-cost sanitary napkins through her company.
  • One online learner’s experience using +Acumen’s systems change course to advance Colombia’s Peace Agreement.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the encouragement of you, our incredible community, and your commitment to standing with the poor.