Portfolio Summer Associate

New York, New York
Job Type
Summer Internship
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply


Acumen is looking for a Summer Associate to support the work of our New York Portfolio team’s investment efforts.  This is an outstanding opportunity for someone with strong business model analysis experience, exceptional financial skills, and a proven commitment to global development.


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 $106 million in 96 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States. We are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills and determination to create a more inclusive world. In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.

Portfolio Team

Acumen’s global portfolio team is responsible for sourcing and managing venture-stage investments in game-changing social enterprises that serve the poor. The Portfolio team provides hands-on support to its investees, offering a suite of value-added support through Acumen’s Post, Impact, Leadership, and Strategic Partnerships teams.


The Summer Associate will help the NY Portfolio team research focus sub-sectors, evaluate new investment opportunities, and possibly conduct due diligence on existing opportunities as they arise.  The Associate will also undertake a specific project related to one or more of the following items:

+       Understanding Acumen’s portfolio performance to date
+       Enhancing Acumen’s investment process to drive better results
+       Assisting in the fundraising process for a new investment fund

More specifically, you may have the opportunity to:
+       Conduct research into new investment opportunities for Acumen’s portfolio sectors; produce sector maps detailing opportunities and challenges within one of Acumen’s geographies and sectors;
+       Conduct due diligence on potential investments; build financial models for social enterprises
+       Assist in Acumen’s continued efforts to improve our diligence processes across the global portfolio, specifically Impact-related diligence
+       Help manage and build out Acumen’s portfolio performance management systems
+       Analyze portfolio-wide social and financial metrics
+       Produce research materials that consolidate and summarize the Portfolio team’s institutional learnings over our 15+ year investment track record
+       Collaborate with Acumen’s Business Development and Strategic Partnerships teams to assist in drafting fundraising materials for a new investment fund

Qualifications & Characteristics
Minimum qualifications:
+       First-year MBA candidate
+       Proven experience in business model analysis, specifically in the context of understanding financial viability and business positioning within a competitive marketplace; relevant experience may include (but is not limited to) investment banking, private equity/VC, or management consulting
+       Proven experience in financial analysis and modeling; strong understanding of finance fundamentals and our investing model
+       Strong ability to take initiative with research and analysis and produce valuable results in conditions of uncertainty
+       Academic training or work experience focused on health, housing, water, agriculture, energy or education
+       Capacity to work with business managers in different countries/cultures
+       Capability to synthesize information and draft investment ideas in memoranda

Preferred qualifications:
+       Emerging market experience preferred
+       Familiarity with the social enterprise sector
+       Solid operational skills, including ability to work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure
+       Must be authorized to work in U.S.

Additional characteristics we look for in all roles at Acumen:
+       Commitment to and enthusiasm for the organization’s mission to change the way the world tackles poverty, and respect for our core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity and respect
+       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
+       A sense of humor (really)

$600 per week, for 10-12 weeks

Application Requirements
Please submit a resume and brief responses to the following questions here: http://bit.ly/2l4H578

1.      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)
2.      Why is impact capital, as opposed to traditional investment capital, required to invest in the companies in which Acumen invests? (MAX: 200 words)

The deadline to apply for this position is Friday, February 24, 2017 but candidates are encouraged to apply early, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.