Acumen Fund and Dow partner to scale social enterprises in East and West Africa

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.

Speaking at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting, Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO and Founder of Acumen Fund, said: “This is an extremely exciting step for Acumen Fund. During more than ten years of investing, we have come to appreciate the various types of support that social enterprises require when creating new systems and solutions for the under-served.”

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.

Posted in: Startups

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