Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund addressing poverty across Africa and South Asia, has announced a partnership with The Dow Chemical Company in a venture that would ensure the two scale innovative social enterprises in East and West Africa.
Acumen used the event to promise that it would work directly with pioneering entrepreneurs to accelerate the development and distribution of crucial products and services in the sectors of technology, agriculture, water, sanitation and energy.
The partnership will target new businesses aimed at serving poor communities across the continent. They will benefit from Dow’s expertise and technical assistance resources to help scale their businesses and better serve their customers.
This comes after Dow recently opened offices in Kenya and Ghana.
“Dow is proud to collaborate with Acumen to advance social enterprises for business growth in the region,” said Bo Miller, global director, Corporate Citizenship, and president and executive director of The Dow Chemical Company Foundation.
Acumen Fund invests in social enterprises, emerging leaders and breakthrough ideas. Since 2001, Acumen Fund has globally invested more than $75 million in 69 companies.
Dow on the other hand uses science and technology to innovate solutions to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems, like the need for renewable energy generation and conservation.
In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe.
African startups stand to gain a lot from the partnership, considering the continent has undergone significant transformation with economic and developmental initiatives in technology and agriculture, led by governments and the private sector across several countries.