Author: Acumen Fund

Acumen invests in access to finance

Acumen announces its new investment in First Access, a data analytics company improving access to formal financial services for low-income East African communities. In East Africa, only 22 percent of the population has access to formal financial services with the…

Esoko investment connects farmers to markets

Acumen and the Lundin Foundation today announced a $1.5 million aggregate equity and debt investment in Esoko Networks Limited (“Esoko”), a Ghanaian-built technology platform that connects African farmers to markets via mobile phones. The platform allows various stakeholders, from agri-business,…

Investment in Ugandan solar company

Acumen is pleased to announce a $1.4 million investment in SolarNow, a company that sells and finances solar home systems in Uganda. We sat down with Shuaib Siddiqui, Acumen’s Portfolio Director to learn more about the deal and why he’s…

Announcing investment in Esoko

Acumen and the Lundin Foundation today announced a $1.5 million aggregate equity and debt investment in Esoko Networks Limited (“Esoko”), a Ghanaian-built technology platform that connects African farmers to markets via mobile phones. The platform allows various stakeholders, from agri-business, NGOs, development finance institutions, governments and mobile network operators to profile and provide specific content […]

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Tackling India’s sanitation problem

Nagaraja Prakasam is an Acumen India Partner and an independent Director at GUARDIAN. He is also a full-time angel investor and recently founded the Impact arm of the Indian Angel Network.  New data released by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) earlier this year has once again underlined the woeful state of sanitation in India, […]

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Visiting smallholder farmers

With the support of the Gates Foundation, Acumen commissioned a study with Bain & Co. to understand key drivers of the adoption of agricultural innovation among smallholder farmers. Vikki Tam is the lead partner on the project. Below Vikki writes about her recent field visits in India and Kenya. This post was originally posted here. […]

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d.light leaders named Social Entrepreneurs of Year

We are thrilled for our portfolio company d.light and Donn Tice, Chairman and CEO, along with cofounders Ned Tozun, President, and Sam Goldman, Chief Customer Officer, for being named Social Entrepreneurs of the year 2014 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. d.light is a for-profit social enterprise that manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products with primary […]

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Give impact investing time to develop

Sasha Dichter, Acumen’s Chief Innovation Officer wrote this piece originally on the HBR Blog. Impact investing has captured the world’s imagination. Just six years after the Rockefeller Foundation coined the term, the sector is booming. An estimated 250 funds are actively raising capital in a market that the Global Impact Investing Network estimates at $25 billion. Giving […]

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Announcing a new investment: Mekelle Farms

Acumen is pleased to announce an investment in AGFlow Ventures, the majority owner of Mekelle Farms, Ethiopia’s largest producer of day-old chicks. Mekelle Farms was established in 2010 to produce productive and disease-resistant chicks for smallholder farmers across Ethiopia. This investment is Acumen’s first in Ethiopia, a country of great potential with a population of […]

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Announcing a new investment: Miliki Afya

Acumen is pleased to announce a  $600,000 equity investment in Miliki Afya Ltd., a company that aims to create a chain of clinics that offer high quality, low cost, outpatient care and diagnostics in low income, densely populated areas in Kenya. An estimated 18 million Kenyans are in need of primary healthcare across urban, peri-urban […]

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Announcing a New Investment: KZ Noir

Acumen has made a $1.2M convertible debt investment in KZ Noir, a Rwanda based speciality coffee producer and subsidiary of Kaizen Venture Partners.  This represents Acumen’s initial investment in Rwanda and first in the coffee sector, a key contributor to the Rwandan economy and an important source of employment. Globally, there are over 2.25 billion cups […]

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Sharing the knowledge to improve rice yields in Ghana

As a Global Fellow, Junko Tashiro traveled to Ghana to launch Copa Connect, a social venture aimed at integrating smallholder rice farmers into the value chain. Through Eric’s story, Tashiro illustrates the power of courage, conviction, and effort. One morning, I rose for an early appointment to visit Eric, a smallholder farmer harvesting his first […]

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