From University Innovation
Acumen was found at April 1, 2001, with capital from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation and three other individual philanthropists. The foundation envisions an organization that seeks to promote and venture entrepreneial ideas with substantial social impact on poverty reduction. Accumen currently operates in five regions around the world namely USA, India, Pakistan, East Africa and West Africa.
Distinct Differences From Other Offerings
By sourcing donations from charitable organizations, Acumen invests the donations in ideas that would not only provide a return, but also a tactical way to tackle poverty.
Unlike other venture capital firms, Accumen only invests in ideas that have a social impact especially in the areas of agriculture, health, water, housing and energy.
Supported by organizations such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and the Skoll Foundation, Acumen’s investments create long lasting social impacts and help to eradicate poverty.
Acumen currently has three leadership programs: Global Fellows, Regional Fellows and +acumen. Participants in all three programs demonstrate a combination of financial expertise, operational expertise and moral imagination for succeed.
Accumen Global Fellow program is a full-time one-year fellowship for 10-12 individuals from all over the world who spend two months in New York and undergoes intensive leadership training, followed by nine months working with one of Acumen’s portfolio companies (site http://acumen.org/leaders/global-fellows/). Since its foundation, the global fellowship program have trained 63 fellows from 21 countries and placed them in numerous social impact ventures. Fellows take up leadership positions in these ventures such as CEO, Marketing, and operations.
The training portion of the fellow starts from September to Mid-November. Field placement starts from November to August.
To be qualify for Accumen fellowship, a candidate must demonstrate:
1. Strong business experience: finance, operations, sales, marketing, and/or consulting
2. Demonstrated passion and commitment to creating positive social change
3. Proven track record of leadership and management responsibilities
4. Experience living and working in emerging markets
5. Grit, courage, and perseverance
6. A minimum of 3 years work experience
The regional fellowship is a year- round program that brings entrepreneurs and leaders within organizations to work on social change project that has been operating for the last 2-3 years. Fellows learn about Accumen business model, meet every 6-8 weeks throughout the year for 4 seminars and 2 collaborative projects. http://acumen.org/leaders/regional-fellows/
Fellows have the opportunity to learn about financial tools for social impact projects, leadership, networking and emerging markets.
The application process timeline for the regional fellowship this year are:
The applications for the Regional Fellows Program go online in July/August 2014.
Telephone Interviews: October 2014
In-Person Interviews: November 2014
Final Selection: December 2014
+Acumen is the online leadership course created by Accumen that are organised into chapters, and volunteer-run groups that actively support Acumen’s mission to change the way the world tackles poverty. +Accumen chapters and volunteer groups work together to raise money to engage in meaningful projects within their communities. Currently, 20 chapters worldwide, 90+ events organised and $360000+ funds raised in support of social impact projects created +Accumen chapters.
Steps Required To Bring Resource to Campus
Universities and Colleges can take the opportunity provided by Accumen and apply directly to investments funding. Projects that are eligible for investments have to be in mid-startup stage with a focus on poverty eradication. Acumen provides brochures, online courses and materials that teach individuals how to use financial tools to create social impact projects.
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