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Posts Tagged ‘Acumen Fund’

Acumen Fund Has 1,000 Applicants for 10 Fellow Spots

January 3, 2012 by

Skoll grantee Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of the Acumen Fund, says that she’s seeing a real flux of Wall Street talent moving to impact investing. “There is a huge shift,” she said, explaining that Acumen Fund has 1,000 applications for its 10 Fellow positions. “I think that’s where the future is.”

She was recently on Bloomberg TV’s “Inside Track,” which mentioned her recent Forbes magazine cover. Novogratz explained what impact investing is and was asked about investing about “high-risk parts of the world.” She shared her success stories such as the growth of the ambulance industry in India.

Watch the segment:


Beethoven for the Indus Valley: Carnegie Hall Concert to Raise Funds for Pakistani Flood Aid

January 26, 2011 by

As reported in the India Post:

NEW YORK: Singapore-born Indian conductor George Mathew will be leading a benefit concert of Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony organized by Music For Life International Inc. and American Pakistan Foundation.

Beethoven for the Indus Valley is an urgent call to the global community to move as swiftly as possible to give the resources and support that the Pakistani people need to rebuild their lives and communities after the devastating floods of 2010. The concert will be presented at Carnegie Hall on Jan 31, and the proceeds will benefit Acumen Fund.

George Mathew, founder and Artistic Director of Music For Life International and Ubuntu-Shruti, has emerged as one of the leading forces in the classical music world bringing symphonic music to focus on global humanitarian issues and crises at the beginning of the 21st Century. In 2010-11 he makes appearances in the US, India, Panama, Morocco and South Africa as conductor and ambassador for transformative action through music.

Read the full story here.


Acumen Fund/Root Capital Announce $2.2 Million Partnership for Ugandan Cotton Ginnery

January 19, 2011 by

A partnership by two Skoll grantees, Acumen Fund and Root Capital, to fund a cotton ginnery in Uganda is highlighted in a recent story in Fast Company.

“The New York-based Acumen Fund–a non-profit investment firm that seeks social and financial returns while helping reduce global poverty–is now in the East African country of Uganda. read more


“The New Recruits” Premieres on PBS

June 15, 2010 by

Watch the full episode. See more The New Recruits.

Tonight marks the airdate of the PBS documentary “The New Recruits” about the Acumen Fellows program.   The one-hour film tells the story of three Acumen Fellows who are working to bring a new approach to tackling poverty through business. Funded by the PBS Social Entrepreneurship Fund, which was created through a grant from the Skoll Foundation, the film is likely to spark conversation about the phenomenon of the current generation that is increasingly interested in using business skills to change the world. You can read more about the Acumen Fund here and join a discussion about the Fellows Program here.


Responsibility Pioneers

September 16, 2009 by

There’s a good story in Time Magazine about growing consumer awareness around how consumption choices impact the environment, workers and other social issues.   “We are again entering a period of social change as Americans are recalibrating our sense of what it means to be a citizen, not just through voting or volunteering but also through commerce: by what we buy. There is a new dimension to civic duty that is growing in America — it’s the idea that we can serve not only by spending time in our communities and classrooms but by spending more responsibly. We are starting to put our money where our ideals are.”

Among other things, the article talks about how corporate America is ripe for embracing social responsibility, in part because it attracts investment capital. It also talks about social entrepreneurs “who are are starting companies rather than nonprofits to capitalize on the power of the market to create public benefit.”  The article includes a sidebar with 25 “Responsibility Pioneers.”  This list includes Skoll social entrepreneurial organizations Peaceworks and Kickstart, as well as partners Acumen Fund and  Ashoka and Social Edge blogger D.light Design.


Skoll Launches Pilot of Pulse System

July 29, 2009 by

The Skoll Foundation launched this week a pilot of the Pulse system for measuring social impact.  Pulse has been developed by Acumen Fund and, with the support of Exponent Partners and funding from Skoll,  the Lodestar Foundation and others. The aim of Pulse is to provide a consistent, systematic way to measure social impact across different types of social change activities. Other organizations involved in the pilot project include Root Capital, Agora Partnerships, IFMR Trust (India), LGT Group (Europe), d.o.b. foundation (Europe) and the Kellogg Foundation

Pulse is designed to track financial, operational, social and environmental metrics, and features a range of qualitative reporting to complement quantitative performance management data. It will allow organizations to aggregate and benchmark financial, operating, social and environmental performance metrics at the portfolio and sector level, allowing for meaningful comparisons of performance against a relevant peer group.  Given the widely different activities and organizations that make up the social sector, Pulse delivers a user-driven, flexible approach to standard metrics:  users define what they want to measure and how, while retaining the ability to share/adopt metrics across organizations in a way that makes comparisons valid.

The ultimate goal of Pulse is to serve as a scalable and secure system for broad adoption across the social change sector.  We’ll report back on progress with our pilot program over time.


Ecosystem News – Acumen and ANDE

January 7, 2009 by

There are a couple of interesting news items out involving Skoll ecosystem partners.   Nick Kristof of the New York Times writes about Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of the Acumen Fund, a Skoll partner.  Kristof has just read an advance copy of Novogratz’s upcoming book, The Blue Sweater, and his column talks about the challenges she’s faced in doing good well.

On a separate note, Rob Katz of the Acumen Fund blogs on an interview with Randall Kempner, the incoming executive director of the Aspen Network for Development Entreprenuers (ANDE).  ANDE is focused on increasing the amount and effectiveness of capital and technical/business assistance for entrepreneurs in developing countries.  The Skoll Foundation is a founding funder of ANDE.  Kempner talks about the importance of innovation in driving sustainable development and outlines his priorities as he starts the new gig.


Fast Company Honorees Have Skoll Connections

November 26, 2008 by

The latest edition of Fast Company magazine reports on their Social Enterprises of the Year.  Among the “top 10″ identified by Fast Company are three with Skoll Foundation connections:  Institute for One World Health, whose founder, Victoria Hale, is a 2005 Skoll social entrepreneur, and Skoll ecosystem partners Acumen Fund and Civic Ventures.  Each is credited for being particularly innovative in their specific arena.  Fast Company has short write-ups for each organization that explain the magazine’s basis for honoring them (click thru for One World Health, Acumen and Civic Ventures.)

Congrats to all three.


Social Edge Blogger Lands Venture Capital

November 10, 2008 by

Sam Goldman, the founder of d.light design and a blogger on Social Edge, has just landed $6 million in investment funding for his initiative to deliver solar powered LED lights to replace kerosene lanterns in developing countries.  d.light design has an ambitious goal:  to be the leading player in off-grid lighting and power solutions worldwide.  The $6 million in funding was led by Nexus India Capital, and included Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Garage Technology Ventures, Mahindra and Mahindra, Acumen Fund and Gray Matters Capital. Sam started blogging on Social Edge in August of last year, so you can get a “real time” view into how d.light has progressed over the last year.


Innovative Fundraising Initiatives

October 1, 2008 by

There are a couple of innovative fundraising initiatives involving Skoll social entrepreneurs that have come to our attention in recent weeks.  One has pretty high visibility, thanks to an aggressive advertising campaign by American Express.  It’s the American Express Members Project.  American Express is committing $2.5 million to the top five projects voted on by members.  The initial list of 1190 projects was based on cardmember submissions.  The list has now been narrowed down to five projects, based on cardmember votes.  Skoll social entrepreneur Kiva, which does online retail microfinance, is the fulfilling organization for one of these projects, “Loans that Change Lives.” The project that ends up with the most votes will receive $1.5 million.  So if you’re an Amex card holder, get over there and vote for Kiva!

Another interesting fundraising initiative comes out of the publishing world.  Good Magazine, which focuses on social change, is allowing new subscribers to direct 100 percent of the cost of a $20 annual subscription to one of a select group of organizations working on economic and social issues.  Among the options are Skoll social entrepreneurs Kiva, Room to Read and Teach for America, as well as partners Acumen Fund and Ashoka.  Good Magazine has raised $862,000 of at targeted $1 million under this initiative to date.


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