I had blogged about the Acumen Fund a little bit in July but did not mention their Fellows Program --
Acumen Fund is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. We seek to prove that small amounts of philanthropic capital, combined with large doses of business acumen, can build thriving enterprises that serve vast numbers of the poor. Our investments focus on delivering affordable, critical goods and services – like health, water, housing and energy – through innovative, market-oriented approaches.
The Fellows Program application deadline for the 2010 - 2011 Class closed on November 5th, but check this out for next time ...
We are looking for dedicated individuals with the practical skills, the creativity, the empathy and the leadership potential to affect change by leveraging market-based solutions to create social impact. Acumen Fund Fellows are drawn from a pool of talented, passionate people from all geographies, sectors, backgrounds and ethnicities.
Since graduating its first class of Fellows in 2007, the Fellows Program has continued to grow and expand, using the experiences of each class to continue building a unique training curriculum specifically focused on leadership and social enterprises. Fellows Alumni have called the program a life-changing experience, and one that allowed them to build critical business skills and a better understanding of the challenges involved in serving low-income consumers around the world.
You can read the bios of the Class of 2010 Fellows here.
About the Fellows Program:
Acumen Fund's year-long fellowship begins in September with eight weeks of intensive and multidisciplinary leadership training in our New York City office. Training topics range from self reflection to negotiation and storytelling training to functional topics such as investment and valuation techniques and design, marketing and operations. The Fellows also meet with leaders from diverse fields, as well as leading writers and thinkers. Training will explore issues related to our investment geographies and sectors as well.
Following training in New York, Fellows begin their nine-month field placements with Acumen Fund investees. Each Fellow is assigned to a company, where they support senior management in tackling critical business issues - market expansion, business plan refinement, supply chain improvements, or even leading a new business initiative. Over nine months, Fellows learn and apply skills while enjoying an unusual level of responsibility within Acumen Fund investees. Halfway through the year, Fellows convene for a mid-year meeting to reconnect, share learnings, and support each other in navigating challenges in the field. At the end of these field assignments, the Fellows return to New York for three weeks to share experiences and lessons learned with Acumen Fund's community, and to focus on their next steps.
Read more about the Acumen Fund and the Fellows' experiences on the Acumen Fund's blog.
Also check out the Acumen Fund's new initiative - an online community. You can join here.