Acumen Fund: How to Make the Greatest Impact

by: Ted London

Publication Date: April 22, 2008
Length: 23 pages
Product ID#: 1-428-592

Core Disciplines: Base of the Pyramid, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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This case explores management’s challenge of how to best use a $10 million contribution to make the greatest impact for the poor. Acumen Fund is global philanthropic venture capital fund that seeks 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 at the base of the pyramid. In recent years, the organization has expanded its work into talent building and knowledge creation. Students learn the different roles intermediary organizations like Acumen Fund play in facilitating the development of successful BoP ventures and why are these efforts needed.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Understand the role and importance of intermediary organizations in facilitating the development of social ventures.
  • Assess an intermediary's competencies and priorities.
  • Make recommendations about an intermediary's expansion