Acumen Fund Director Aun Rahman speaks at the 2009 Investor Gathering in NYC.
Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund, uses entrepreneurial approaches to tackle problems associated with poverty. Established in 2001 by Jacqueline Novogratz, Acumen Fund has pioneered the use of market-based approaches to bringing critical goods and services to low-income people. Working with innovative entrepreneurs in impoverished regions throughout the world, the businesses that Acumen supports focus on water, health, housing, energy, and agriculture.
Through its work Acumen Fund seeks to prove that small amounts of philanthropic capital, invested with large doses of business savvy, can establish sustainable and thriving enterprises. Acumen believes that poor people seek dignity, not dependence, and their global team -- with offices in four countries -- work to enable people to solve their own problems instead of providing them with aid. The key is patient capital. Acumen Fund uses philanthropic capital to make disciplined investments -- loans not grants -- that yield both financial and social returns.
With over twenty-five investments throughout Pakistan, India, and East Africa, and many more in the pipeline, Acumen believes that using entrepreneurial and market-based approaches to poverty, they will work to finally solve the problem of poverty.
Before joining Acumen Fund, Aun Rahman worked for five years in economic and strategy consulting at Charles River Associates in Boston, specializing in financial modeling and quantitative analysis.
Rahman joined Acumen Fund in 2003 as a Fellow, working for 18 months with Acumen Fund's investee Saiban to structure and incubate an affordable commercial housing project in Lahore and to develop the organization's management information systems. In 2005, he became Acumen Fund's Country Manager in Pakistan. Originally from Karachi, Rahman came to the United States to attend the University of Chicago, where he earned a BA in Economics.