Acumen Fund Conference in Paris: an investment fund for a sustainable impact

3/1/2012 - Social Entrepreneurship

At the invitation of the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, Jacqueline Novogratz presented in Paris Acumen Fund’s original solutions against poverty

By using an innovative approach and practical tools from the business world, social entrepreneurship paves the way to a sustainable resolution of economic and social challenges. Acumen Fund is a philanthropic investment fund that invests in market-oriented ventures to provide underpriviledged populations with vital services at affordable prices. A new generation of committed entrepreneurs changes the odds in critical matters such as access to water, health services and decent housing in India, Pakistan and Africa.

Acumen Fund supports those entrepreneurs financially, observing strict investment rules: a significant social impact, a self-financing ability and a long-term horizon (more or less seven years). With the help of the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, the fund also supports the training and development of this new generation of enterprises. Some of them are establishing themselves as genuine models of sustainable change, like an ambulance service in Bombay, the expansion of a revolutionary irrigation technique in South India or the implementing of a totally new micro-insurance policy system in Pakistan.

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations gathered a public of French philanthropist, private investors and business leaders, who turned out to be very interested in the concept of “patient capital” put forward by Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO and founder of Acumen Fund. A 10 years-experience shows how complex the task is to make social enterprises rise, but also how a good combination of seed capital and managerial training can catalyze a solid economic development and produce tangible results.

Support the growth of ventures based on this model is a major stake for the new “impact investment” industry. As Ariane de Rothschild said to conclude this conference, the pursuit of these transverse purposes contribute to the emerging of new economic models and fits into the core missions of the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations.