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Acumen Fund: Measurement in Impact Investing
Acumen Fund is a global venture capital firm with a dual purpose: it looks for a return on its investments and also seeks entrepreneurial solutions to global poverty. This Harvard Business School case examines Acumen's decision-making process around whether or not to invest in two for-profit ventures: one provides clean and accessible shower and toilet facilities in urban areas, serving a critical need for low-income populations—its financial sustainability, however, is less clear; the other is a network of successful private health clinics that primarily serve middle-income populations, but have the potential to reach low-income markets. As the investment committee nears a decision, political and social unrest breaks out in Kenya following a highly contested presidential election. Acumen Fund must then also consider the political risks of investing.