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Firm, Entrepreneurs Set To Tackle Poverty

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Megan Curra

Acumen, an international non-profit investment organisation, is poised to support Nigerian entrepreneurs working to help end poverty. Its West Africa Director, Meghan Curra, said this while addressing a forum of entrepreneurship empowerment organisations put together by Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), to meet representatives of Skoll Foundation and Acumen in Lagos.

According to her, Acumen raises charitable donations to invest in companies, leaders, and ideas who tackle poverty in developing countries. The fund, she explained, 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. The fund, she continued, invests in companies leading innovations in renewable energy and agriculture among others, adding this has allowed Acumen to impact the lives of 232 million people since 2001 across 99 companies with $108 million of investments.

She said Acumen Fund was created in 2001 to offer new approaches to social impact investing, acting as an intermediary between philanthropic organisations and social enterprises. The Regional Chapter Manager, West Africa, ANDE, Olatunji Ajani, said ANDE is a global network of organisations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets.

According to him, ANDE members provide critical financial, educational, and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) based on the conviction that they will create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce environmental and social benefits.

Associate Director, Acumen West Africa, Oluwatoyin Emmanuel-Olubake, highlighted the group’s interest in companies that create sustainable solutions in local ecosystem. Acumen in the last 15 years has invested over $110 million in breakthrough innovations with 102 countries serving low-income customers within 13 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the U.S. with a major focus on post-seed to scale opportunities especially in the agriculture and renewable energy space.

Source: The Nation

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