Acumen’s mission is to eliminate poverty by “investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas.” Around since 2001, Acumen uses “philanthropic capital” to invest in loans or equity, as opposed to grants, to produce “both financial and social returns,” which are then “recycled into new investments.” They also offer year-long leadership development fellowships.
Ashoka Innovators for the Public
Bill Drayton founded Ashoka in 1980 and its first cohort of Ashoka fellows were elected in 1981. Since then it has grown to “an association of 3,000 Fellows in over 70 countries around the world.” The organization focuses on social entrepreneurs and what it calls the “citizen sector” to affect positive social change by 1) supporting social entrepreneurs, 2) promoting group entrepreneurship, and 3) building infrastructure for the sector. Lastly, they are sponsoring “Unlocking the U in University at the 2013 Ashoka U Exchange,” a weekend gathering of 600 “social entrepreneurs, university professionals, and students,” at the University of San Diego.