The Acumen Fellowship is a one year program that immerses Fellows in world-class leadership training, field work with social enterprises on the front lines, and a community of changemakers and thoughtleaders.
Acumen Fund Fellows are drawn from a pool of talented, passionate individuals from all geographies, sectors, backgrounds, religions and ages. Ideal Fellows include those who have already decided on a career in venture philanthropy, those who are seeking a career at the highest levels in the corporate world but want to better understand and impact problems of global poverty, and budding social entrepreneurs who want to learn about managing organizations in demanding settings.
Acumen Fund’s year-long fellowship for the Class of 2014 will begin in September 2013 with eight weeks of intensive and multidisciplinary leadership training in our New York City office. Training topics cover a wide variety of soft and hard skills, ranging from self-reflection, negotiation, and storytelling to functional topics such as investment techniques, valuation, marketing and operations. The Fellows also meet with leaders from diverse fields, as well as leading writers and thinkers. Training will explore issues related to our investment geographies and sectors as well.
Following training in New York, Fellows begin their nine-month field placements with Acumen Fund investees. Each Fellow is assigned to a company where they support senior management in tackling critical business issues – market expansion, business plan refinement, supply chain improvements, or even leading a new business initiative. Over nine months, Fellows learn and apply skills while enjoying an unusual level of responsibility within Acumen Fund investees. Halfway through the year, Fellows convene for a mid-year meeting to reconnect, share learnings, and support each other in navigating challenges in the field. At the end of these field assignments, the Fellows return to New York for three weeks in September 2014 to share experiences and lessons learned with Acumen Fund’s community, and to focus on their next steps.
Value of Fellowship
- Acumen Fund provides Fellows with a stipend that covers reasonable monthly living costs for the duration of the year-long program.
- Travel to New York for the first portion of the program, travel to and from field placements, travel to and from the mid-year meeting, and costs associated with necessary visa arrangements will be covered by Acumen Fund. Acumen Fund will also arrange appropriate health insurance and computing services including a laptop and video camera for use during the fellowship year.
While each Fellow comes from a diverse background and brings a unique skill set to the Fellowship, there are some key indicators of a successful Fellow:
- Strong business experience – such as finance, operations, or consulting
- Demonstrated passion and commitment to creating positive social change
- Proven track record of leadership and management responsibilities
- Experience living and working in emerging markets
- Unrelenting perseverance, moral fiber, and critical thinking skills
- 3-5 years of work experience
How to Apply
Application for Acumen Fellowships must be completed and submitted online. See link below.
There are five parts of the initial application:
- Resume/Curriculum Vitae
- Personal profile information
- Two professional references
- Four short essay questions