Impact Summer Associate

Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply
Serena Grewal

Acumen is looking for a Summer Associate to support the work of our Impact Team and its Lean Data Initiative. This is an outstanding opportunity for an entrepreneurial, action-orientated individual who has a passion for data and delighting customers.

Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $88 million in 82 companies across Africa, Latin America and South Asia. We are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills and determination to create a more inclusive world. This year, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.

Passion, entrepreneurial spirit, and commitment to tackling the issue of global poverty are just a few of the things that the staff at Acumen have in common. What we aim to accomplish with our work is no easy task, and we need dedicated, high-caliber people to reach our goals. We have teams on the ground in India, Pakistan, Kenya, Ghana, Colombia, London and New York, and we aim to build strong local structures that are deeply interconnected to the global organization through shared goals.

Impact Team & Lean Data
The Impact Team is responsible for understanding and improving the impact of Acumen’s investee companies. Over the past 18 months, the team has been piloting a new approach for to its work which we call “Lean Data”. This role will be fully focused on helping the team execute Lean Data projects and further refine this proposition.

Lean Data
Fast-moving social enterprises, strapped for cash and time, face a conundrum when it comes to measuring social performance. Traditional measurement tools, whether inherited from international development or impact investing, don’t make sense. They are either too costly because they were designed for large-scale aid projects or focus on typical business metrics that don’t get to the heart of impact. Created from the ground up, Lean Data puts entrepreneurs, and their customers, first.

Lean Data is the application of lean experimentation principles to the collection and use of social performance data. It involves a shift in mindset away from reporting and compliance and toward creating value for a company and its customers. Lean Data uses low-cost technology to communicate directly with end customers, getting high-quality data quickly and efficiently.
Read more in a recent SSIR article here

The Summer Associate will help execute Lean Data projects across our portfolio companies and further shape the lean data proposition.
• Execute lean data projects in Acumen geographies using technology such as SMS surveys, phone centers, sensors and other methods yet to be developed.
• Develop recommendations for investee companies, based on the customer data collected. These recommendations may range from operational improvements (e.g. around customer service) to specific sales and marketing interventions (e.g. introduce brand ambassador program). The ultimate aim of any recommendations made is to improve the breadth (number of people reached) or depth (improvement on wellbeing) of Acumen’s investments.
• Help the impact team synthesize what it is learning on the ground, and communicate this across the organization, particularly to the Portfolio and Business Development teams.
• Support the development of processes to help “professionalize” Lean Data, as the team seeks to significantly ramp up its workload in 2016 and beyond.
• Help the team innovate and come up with new offerings to help its investee companies better understand and serve their end-customers.
• The pace of the work in the Impact team is fast-paced and rapidly changing. The candidate should be comfortable with the scope of the role adapting to the specific projects that the team is currently working on.
Qualifications & Characteristics
• First year MBA candidate
• 3-5 years of experience in management consulting, venture capital, or startup operations. At least 1 year of experience in social enterprise / start-up environments strongly preferred.
• Excellent data analysis and presentation skills: high competency with Excel and PowerPoint an absolute must
• Capacity to work with across different countries and cultures
• Strong ability to take initiative and produce valuable results in conditions of uncertainty – a gutsy “roll-your-sleeves-up” attitude.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills; capability to synthesize information and make clear, compelling recommendations in a succinct manner to Acumen colleagues and investees.
• Emerging market experience preferred
The ideal candidate will also meet the following criteria:
• Solid operational skills, including ability to work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure
• Exceptional relationship and interpersonal skills: courtesy, tact, patience and strong team orientation
• Commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the organization’s mission and business model, and respect for our core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity, respect
• Curious – always questioning, always probing, and never blindly accepting
• Ability to thrive when there is ambiguity, remain cool-headed when there are curve balls, and withstand the tests of a rapidly changing environment with resilience and resolve
• Moral Imagination: The humility to see the world as it is, and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be. It also includes but is not limited to the following:
• Displaying high level of empathy in all relationships and encounters
• Possessing deep self-awareness and ability to identify own strengths and weaknesses
• Actively listening and focusing on hearing what others are saying
• A sense of humor (really)

£400 per week, for 10-12 weeks

London, UK

Application Requirements
Apply here:

Please submit a resume and brief responses ( • Of the minimum qualifications listed above, what are your top two skills relevant to this position? Give evidence of how these skills have made you successful in the past. (MAX 200 words)
• What do you think are the most valuable ways that better data can help our investee companies? (MAX 150 words)

Applications will be accepted through Friday, March 4, 2016.