The Acumen Fund, Inc. is an impact investment fund with almost 15 years’ experience in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that serve low-income communities in developing countries primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Acumen has a successful track record in sourcing and executing equity investment opportunities in the clean energy, agriculture and health-care sectors, which provide environmental and livelihood impacts. The results of its activities overlap with the results areas and impacts of the GCF in the areas of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from energy efficient products (appliances); improvements in the livelihoods of vulnerable populations through the provision of improved agricultural inputs, services and information; and increased access to health-care products and services that treat diseases and conditions related to the negative effects of climate change and emissions from polluting fuels. The activities of Acumen, for example, include the distribution of: solar lanterns, solar home systems, smoke-free cook stoves (energy) and formal financial services, such as providing home improvement micro loans for low-income women and families in developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Leveraging its well-established track record investing in companies via equity and loan instruments, Acumen sought accreditation to the GCF as an opportunity to further assist more people in the low-income communities in which it operates.
Environmental and social risk category
- Category C
- Category B
- Category A
- Intermediation 3
- Intermediation 2
- Intermediation 1
- Project management
- Grant award
News + Stories
GCF boosts COVID-19 low-carbon energy relief with anchor investment
01 Sep 2021 / Green Climate Fund (GCF) backing has been crucial in an emergency relief fund launched today that shields clean energy companies in developing countries from COVID-19 economic shocks to keep low-carbon trajectories on track. The USD 80 million Energy Access Relief Fund (EARF) has drawn together a unique coalition of financial support for 90 companies in Africa and Asia that have been filling energy access gaps with low-carbon solutions but now face bankruptcy form the COIVD-19 fallout. EARF will keep these companies financially solvent by providing them with short-term loans.
Ministers call for successful GCF replenishment at HLPF
15 Jul 2019 / Panellists at the Green Climate Fund (GCF) high-level event at the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in New York recognised the Fund’s critical role in helping developing countries meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement and called for an ambitious GCF replenishment.
Acumen and GCF sign agreement to implement its first approved project proposal, bringing household solar energy to East Africa
04 Aug 2016 / GCF and Acumen Fund today signed an agreement enabling the disbursement of funds to implement the first approved project proposal from Acumen, making it the first GCF project to move to this stage.