Nonprofit global venture fund Acumen has announced the launch of , an impact investment fund that will work to scale social enterprises focused on tackling poverty in the United States.
With funding support from the , the , and , Acumen America aims to build a portfolio of social enterprises in the U.S. in the areas of health, financial inclusion, and workforce development. The fund's initial group of investees includes , a tech company that helps case managers connect patients to critical social services, and , which is working to expand access to skilled employment for students from community college and technical institutions.
Since 2001, Acumen has invested more than $100 million in early-stage funding in nearly a hundred enterprises working to reduce poverty in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. Acumen America aims to bring the organization's impact investing model to the United States, where nearly forty-seven million people live in poverty, income inequality is at a record high, and early-stage risk capital for entrepreneurs focused on low-income markets is scarce.
"America's social safety net is strained, but both the private and public sectors can play a role in alleviating that strain by providing new ladders out of poverty," said Acumen America director Catherine Casey. "We believe entrepreneurs, who are important drivers of economic and social progress in the United States, can help strengthen existing systems and build new models that provide more Americans with opportunities to pursue a better life."