Tag Archives: Acumen Fund Pakistan

Acumen Pakistan signs deal with Punjab Board of Investment and Trade to alleviate poverty

Islamabad, February 17, 2014 (PPI-OT): Acumen Pakistan and the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) signed a $3.5 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Public-Private Partnership basis to alleviate poverty by providing critical goods and services to those at the bottom-of-the-pyramid.

Acumen, a pioneering social impact investor, has identified sustainable solutions in the solar energy and water sectors, which is expected to generate employment opportunities as well. The MoU was inked by Mr. Farrukh H. Khan, Country Director, Acumen Pakistan and Syed Maratib Ali, Vice Chairman/CEO, PBIT. Acumen CEO, Ms. Jacqueline Novogratz was also in attendance.

This path breaking initiative will allow two Acumen companies, namely Pharmagen and SRE Solutions, to scale their operations to provide low-cost drinking water and solar energy solutions in the Punjab. PBIT’s joint effort with Acumen is expected to enable Pharmagen and SRE Solutions to provide critical services to 180,000 individuals over three years. This is a first of its kind initiative that will apply Public-Private Partnership principles to sustainable development in the Punjab.

“Partnerships such as these allow for greater synergies to be established between the public sector and institutions such as Acumen,” said Ms. Jacqueline Novogratz at the signing MOU ceremony at PBIT. “We are hopeful that this initiative will act as a catalyst for future collaborations between the Government and organizations tackling poverty.”

“This partnership is expected to enable our companies to provide affordable and high-quality critical goods to the communities that need it most,” said Mr. Khan. “The innovative aspect of the model is that funds will only be leveraged as a catalyst and will be a one-time cost; after 3 years, the communities will continue to be serviced by the companies on a sustainable basis”.

Emphasizing the importance of public-private partnerships Syed Maratib Ali said, “The Punjab Government is dedicated to finding sustainable solutions to help eradicate poverty and we are excited to work with Acumen to achieve this goal. Our aim is to roll this initiative out to the entire province as quickly as possible and impact millions of lives.”

For more information, contact:
Sabina Ansari
Acumen Fund Pakistan
11-C, 4th Floor, 1st Commercial Lane,
Shahbaz Commercial, Phase VI
DHA Karachi, Pakistan
Phone: +92.21.3584.6430-2
Fax: +92.21. 3584.6490
Email: sansari@acumenfund.org.

The post Acumen Pakistan signs deal with Punjab Board of Investment and Trade to alleviate poverty appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.

Acumen Pakistan invests in SRE Solutions to bring light in 250,000 lives

Islamabad, October 21, 2013 (PPI-OT): Acumen, a pioneering nonprofit global venture firm addressing poverty across Africa and in South Asia, today announced a $250,000 equity investment in SRE Solutions, a provider of high-quality solar products to off-grid customers throughout rural Pakistan.

Using a unique retail distribution network and employing local entrepreneurs, the upfront payment and monthly installment for the micro-credit product brings solar solutions within an affordable range for these off-grid households.

Acumen’s investment will enable the company to scale operations and undertake important pilots with micro-finance institutions. SRE intends to serve close to 40,000 households, impacting over a quarter of one million lives over the next five years.

The savings from solar solutions enable households to spend more money on education, health and other basic needs of the family, as well as employ a growing group of villagers to serve as sales associates.

“The need for reliable power in Pakistan’s rural communities remains acute, with tens of millions of people who are off grid,” said Farrukh H. Khan, Pakistan Country Director, Acumen. “We are excited to partner with SRE Solutions to provide affordable and high-quality solar power solutions to the country’s off grid communities.”

“A large number of rural households in Pakistan still do not have access to the national power grid. Through low cost and affordable solar energy solutions,SRE plans to target this colossal gap and aims to spark the beginning of a much needed socio-economic change for people living in energy poverty” said Fakhar A. Khalifa, the CEO of SRE Solutions. “We are excited to be working with Acumen.”

Additionally, Acumen has invested over $16 million USD in Pakistan since 2001, focusing on a wide range of sustainable, scalable businesses—in agriculture, housing, health, water and energy—that use market-based approaches to deliver products and services to millions of rural and urban poor.

This is the second energy-related local investment by Acumen Pakistan, following an investment earlier this year inAga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) which is building community-owned hydro power solutions throughout the Chitral district.

For more information, contact:
Sabina Ansari
Acumen Fund Pakistan
11-C, 4th Floor, 1st Commercial Lane,
Shahbaz Commercial, Phase VI
DHA Karachi, Pakistan
Phone: +92.21.3584.6430-2
Fax: +92.21. 3584.6490
Email: sansari@acumenfund.org.

The post Acumen Pakistan invests in SRE Solutions to bring light in 250,000 lives appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.

Acumen Fund announces First Energy Investment in Pakistan Hydropower project

Islamabad, May 06, 2013 (PPI-OT): Acumen, a pioneering non-profit global venture firm addressing poverty across Africa and in South Asia, today announced its first investment in the growing rural energy sector of Pakistan. Acumen is giving a loan of Rs. 86 Million to Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) to support the creation of four community managed micro-hydel units in Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province in Pakistan. These plants will provide 24-hour clean electricity to remote off-grid communities in Chitral district, a region with limited access to electricity.

“There is a growing need for reliable power in Pakistan’s rural communities right now,” said Farrukh H. Khan, Pakistan Country Director, Acumen Fund. “AKSRP’s community-based model has the potential to provide millions with access to an important basic service and revolutionize the way poor Pakistanis access energy.”

Acumen Fund and AKRSP have joined hands to address the pressing energy needs of isolated rural communities in Chitral who are currently not connected to the national grid. Households living in the off-grid villages rely heavily on fuel wood and fossil fuels to meet their daily energy needs, thus adding to environmental fragility. Innovative private and community-based models of energy generation from clean sources can help address the energy crisis in such remote and underserved regions.

“We work very closely with the local communities to generate energy that is clean, affordable and reliable. The ultimate objective is to improve the quality of life of local communities by making energy available for small-scale commercial and household uses without burdening precious natural resources such as forests”, said Abdul Malik, CEO of AKRSP. “Acumen Fund’s investment will help local communities overcome the capital constraints and combine their own resources to provide reliable electricity to thousands of their members”.

The investment in four micro-hydel units will provide an opportunity to test and demonstrate the viability of investments in off-grid community-based models, paving the path for scaling-up through replication.

For more information, contact:
Sabina Ansari
Acumen Fund Pakistan
11-C, 4th Floor, 1st Commercial Lane,
Shahbaz Commercial, Phase VI
DHA Karachi, Pakistan
Phone: +92.21.3584.6430-2
Fax: +92.21. 584.6490
Email: sansari@acumenfund.org.

Acumen Fund and JS Launches Pakistan Fellows Programme; selects Cohort of Pakistanis for inaugural class of Social Impact Leadership Training Programme

Islamabad, January 21, 2013 (PPI-OT): Acumen Fund, a pioneering nonprofit global venture firm addressing poverty across Africa and in South Asia, hosted an event yesterday to introduce the first class of Acumen Pakistan Fellows. In partnership with JS Bank, the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, Acumen is working to develop the next generation of social change leaders who are building innovative businesses and strong institutions across Pakistan.

Twenty individuals have been selected out of over 500 candidates to participate in this year-long training, while simultaneously continuing to pursue their social impact initiatives. Fellows’ initiatives range from creating an interest-free microfinance institution, to a disaster relief project, to a teaching training program.

In addition to a presentation given by the newly selected Pakistan Fellows, the launch event featured remarks by Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, and Firoz Ladak, Executive Director, Edmond de Rothschild Foundations.

“Pakistan today faces many challenges, and we need new leaders who are dedicated to creating a better future for this country,” said Farrukh Khan, Country Director, Acumen Fund Pakistan. “It is exciting to help develop a community of leaders with the financial skills, operational excellence and moral imagination to address pressing social issues and we’re humbled by the support and interest we’ve received from our partners and local community.”

“The depth and breadth of talent in the applicant pool size is evidence that the people of this nation want to seek ways to improve the prevailing conditions and challenge the existing status quo,” stated Ali J. Siddiqui, CEO, Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation. “With this inaugural class of bright and ambitious individuals, we are creating a brighter future of this country by providing the tools and the knowledge required to develop a new generation of Pakistani leaders.”

The Pakistan Fellows program is just one part of Acumen’s investment in leadership and community of the Acumen Fund alumni network. The East Africa Regional Fellows Program is in its second year and just selected its fellows for 2013. Acumen intends to launch similar Regional Fellows Programs in India and West Africa in the coming years.

Additionally, Acumen Fund has invested over $7 million USD in Pakistan since 2001, focusing on a wide range of sustainable, scalable businesses—in agriculture, housing, health, water and energy—that use market-based approaches to deliver products and services to millions of rural and urban poor.

Recent additions to Acumen Fund Pakistan’s portfolio include the NRSP (National Rural Support Program) Microfinance Bank, which is the first agency in Pakistan to provide financial services to rural agricultural markets, and Pharmagen Healthcare Ltd, which supplies safe, clean, and affordable drinking water to low-income residents in Lahore.

For more information, contact:
Sabina Ansari
Acumen Fund Pakistan
11-C, 4th Floor, 1st Commercial Lane,
Shahbaz Commercial, Phase VI
DHA Karachi, Pakistan
Phone: +92.21.3584.6430-2
Fax: +92.21. 584.6490
Email: sansari@acumenfund.org.