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At Acumen, we are always looking to learn about new, innovative models for tackling poverty in the regions where we work. If you have a business that meets our investment criteria, we want to hear from you!
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
To submit your proposal, please follow the steps below. Please read our investment criteria and investment principles carefully, as these will answer many of the questions you may have to determine whether Acumen is a good match for your company. If you have any questions, please refer to our FAQ section. Due to the high volume of applications, unfortunately, we are only able to respond to submissions of interest.
Opportunity is About:
Candidates should be from:
Description of Ideal Candidate:
Is your enterprise a right fit for Acumen? You enterprise must meet all of the criteria below in order to be considered.
Be located in or have significant operation or impact in East Africa, West Africa, India, Pakistan or Latin America.
Operate in one of our investment sectors of Agriculture, Energy, Education, Health, Housing, or Water
3. INVESTMENT SIZE
Be seeking investment capital in the range of $0.25M-$3M, structured as either debt or equity.
Be an early-mid stage company that is in the process of scaling. We rarely invest in pure start-up companies.
5. POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SOCIAL IMPACT
Make a product or deliver a service that addresses a critical need for the poor in our sectors and geographic focus. These products or services need to be economically better or create greater social impact than what is currently available on the market or through charitable distribution channels.
6. POTENTIAL FOR FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
Have a clear business model that demonstrates the potential for financial sustainability within a five to seven year period; including the ability to cover operating expenses with operating revenues.
7. POTENTIAL TO ACHIEVE SCALE
Be able to demonstrate a clear path to scale the number of end users over the period of our investment and be positioned as one of the leading service providers in the market.
8. STRONG MANAGEMENT TEAM
Have a strong and experienced management team with the skills and will to execute the business plan with a clear and compelling vision. The management team is dedicated to serving low-income individuals and has unyielding ethics.
Deadline: The application period is open for one or more cycles a year
Cost/funding for participants:
Q. DOES ACUMEN INVEST IN “SEED” OR “IDEA” STAGE COMPANIES?
Acumen focuses its investments on early stage companies and rarely makes investments in seed or idea stage companies. However, we are always interested in learning more about companies using new models to tackle poverty in our sectors.
Q. WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR AN “EARLY STAGE” COMPANY?
Although early-stage companies may be pre- or low-revenue and early on in proving their business model, it is key that the company has a clear goal to reach scale, has basic operating infrastructure in place, and has a strong management team with the vision and passion to execute.
Q. DOES ACUMEN INVEST IN LATER STAGE COMPANIES?
Acumen focuses on making investments in early stage companies. As a non-profit, Acumen is able to fill the funding gap for companies seeking smaller amounts of capital to scale (under $2 million per investment). As later stage companies are often seeking greater amounts of capital, they are typically out of our investment scope.
Q. DOES ACUMEN INVEST IN NON-PROFIT COMPANIES?
Yes, Acumen can invest in non-profit companies, however, the non-profit must have a revenue generating activity allowing the non-profit to be financially sustainable. As with all of Acumen’s investments, Acumen expects a financial return over the lifetime of its investment in a company (either for-profit or non-profit).