By: D E Wasake, Principal,

Basic information


Early-mid stage companies - Rarely invest in pure start-up companies.

Sector focus:

Water, Health, Agriculture, Energy, Housing, Education.

Amounts provided:

$200,000 - $2m

Funding type

Mainly shares, debt or quasi equity (loans that have features of shares)

Key criteria

Significant Social Impact
Make a product or deliver a service that addresses a critical need at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) i.e the poorest people.

Financial Sustainability
A clear business model that shows potential for financial sustainability (profit) within a five to seven year period.

Potential to Achieve Scale
An objective of reaching approximately one million end users within a five year period with the benefits of the product or service or alternatively similar magnitude such as 10 x growth, being one of leading service providers, strong management team to grow it etc.

Further information

Acumen Fund East Africa

Phone: + 254-20-386-1559/60/61
Airtel: +254 736 073036
Safaricom: +254 716 252802



Who is behind the Fund?

There are several partners who are behind the fund and these typically have contributed amounts from $5m plus to $10,000 plus in addition to founder partners etc.

Some of the larger partners ($5m plus) include; Aman Foundation, Amy Robbins , Andrea Soros Colombel & Eric Colombel, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Robert and Kate Niehaus Foundation, The Sapling Foundation and The Three Dogs Foundation.

What is the process like?

A detailed business plan submission process is in place and it starts with submitting a general form and an executive summary (4-6 pages) in the fund’s required format.

Our view/tips for success?

Scalability. Considering the large number of partners involved and the core focus of the fund on tackling poverty for the “poorest of the poor”, a good model will need to show that in addition to maximum impact of at least 1m people, we expect that the model will need to able to be replicated, cheaply, preferably in other emerging economies so as to change lives there as well.

Otherwise, best of luck.


Inachee is not an agent or connected to this entity, it is an independent thought leadership and advisory firm. The information provided is based on our research and experience. Whilst we have taken steps to ensure the accuracy of the information presented here, there can be no guarantee that it will remain accurate.