Acumen, an international non-profit investment firm, is set to assist Nigerian entrepreneurs working to help tackle and end poverty in the country.
Meghan Curra, Acumens’ West Africa Director, gave this low-down during an address in an entrepreneurship forum which was tailored to empower organizations, organized by Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), to meet Acumen and Skoll delegates in Lagos.
According to her, Acumen raises charitable donations to invest in companies, leaders, and ideas who tackle poverty in developing countries. As explained, the fund operates like a venture capital fund for the poor, supported by a global community of philanthropists willing to take a bet on a new approach.
Meghan explained that the fund invests in companies who lead innovations in renewable energy and agriculture among others, adding that it has allowed Acumen to impact positively, the lives of 232 million people since 2001 across 99 companies with USD 108 million worth of investments.
She said that Acumen Fund was founded in 2001 to bring to the table, new approaches to social impact investing, acting as an intermediary between philanthropic organizations and social enterprises.
The Regional Chapter Manager, West Africa, ANDE, Olatunji Ajani said that ANDE is a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets.
According to him, members of ANDE provide essential financial, educational and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) based on the belief that they will create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth and bring about environmental and social benefits.
Associate Director, Acumen West Africa, Oluwatoyin Emmanuel-Olubake, highlighted that the group has interest in companies that create sustainable solutions in the local ecosystems.
In the last 15 years, Acumen has invested more than USD 15 Mn in breakthrough innovations with 102 countries, serving low-income customers within 13 nations Africa, Asia, and Latin America, including the U.S. The firm has a primary focus on post-seed to scale opportunities especially in the agriculture and renewable energy space.