Acumen

Acumen (2001; New York; 121 staff and associates; acumen.org)

A global community changing the way the world tackles poverty. They believe “that neither the markets nor aid alone can solve the problems of poverty and that every person deserves the choice to live with dignity.” Seeks out and invests in innovative entrepreneurs to disrupt poverty. Provides them with the flexibility and security to grow their businesses and reach as many poor customers as possible.  Has a variety of corporate partners including GE, SAP and IKEA.  Received seed capital from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation, and three individual philanthropists. $110 million invested in 110 companies in 13 countries since inception.

Programs:

  • Fellowship program for people from developing countries
  • Investment in social and innovative enterprises
  • Professional education on topics like social entrepreneurship, human centered design and storytelling for change

Publications:

  • A blog, newsletter and videos
  • Reports on topics like: Accelerating Energy Access (2018, 61p; about off-grid solutions) and Innovations in Impact Measurement (no date, 42p; about use of mobile technology).

Leadership: Jacqueline Novogratz (CEO, Founder)

Budget: $21m

Note: Novogratz is author of The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor

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