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Fellowships to USA & International Individuals to Improve Quality of Life for the Poor Worldwide

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Global Fellows


Agency: Foundation

GrantWatch ID #149601

Grant Description

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Fellowships to USA and international individuals dedicated to serving the poor and who have the business and operational expertise and moral imagination needed to effect long-term social change. This fellowship program involves an eight-week training program where Fellows learn about business models for the poor, and hone their leadership skills.


The Global Fellowship begins with two months of intensive training (September to mid-November) at the Acumen offices in New York. The training curriculum is based on the three core principles of moral imagination, financial expertise, and operational expertise. Acumen partners with some of the foremost organizations to deliver this leadership curriculum.

After training, each Fellow works for the CEO or senior management of an Acumen investee on a critical business issue facing the organization. Fellows have worked on projects ranging from leading operations of a new business unit at a cotton ginnery in Uganda, to expanding the clinic network of a pharmacy company in India, to developing branding strategies for a microfinance institution in Pakistan.

Field Placement:

For ten months (Mid-November to August), Fellows work at one of Acumen’s portfolio companies as key staff members. Fellows work directly with entrepreneurs, interact with customers, and grapple, first-hand, with the complex issues of addressing the needs of the poor.

Debrief & Beyond:

September and onwards, Fellows return to New York to share their experiences and lessons learned with the Acumen staff and community. Fellows receive career development support to assist with their post-Fellowship career plans. After the Fellowship, Alumni remain connected through bi-annual gatherings, newsletters, participation in future selection processes, and other opportunities.

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications for the Global Fellowship are highly competitive. While Fellows have diverse backgrounds and each brings a unique skill set to the Fellowship, some key traits have been identified:

-Strong business experience: finance, operations, sales, marketing, and/or consulting
-Demonstrated passion and commitment to creating positive social change
-Proven track record of leadership and management responsibilities
-Experience living and working in emerging markets
-Grit, courage, and perseverance
-A minimum of 4 years work experience

Pre-Application Information:

November 10, 2014: Applications open
Deadline extended to December 14, 11:59 PM EST: Applications close
January: Phone interviews
February- March: In person interviews
April- May: Final candidates selected and offers made

Apply online here:

There are five parts of the initial application:
-Background Information
-Your Resume/CV
-Applicant Summary and Overview
-Essay Questions
-Two Professional References

Phone Interviews: The global selection team will review all applications and will select a subset of candidates for 45-minute phone or Skype interviews, to be conducted in January 2015.

In-person Interviews: Following these interviews, the team will select a smaller subset of finalist candidates who will be invited to attend a full day of in-person interviews at one of several interview locations around the world. In-person interviews will include a case study, panel interview, group activities, and a community dinner. These interview events will be held between February - March 2014.

Once all in-person interview events have taken place, the selection team will make final decisions. Acumen expects to extend offers to join the Class of 2016 by April 2015. (Please note that this timetable may be subject to change, due to travel schedules and other unforeseen circumstances.)

NOTE: While both the Regional Fellows Programs and Global Fellows Program share the same core curriculum, there are a few key differences between the two programs. Therefore, candidates may only apply to one program per year and should choose the program that makes the most sense for them. Two of the most important differences between the two programs are their eligibility requirements and how they are structured.

Term of Contract:

12 months.

Contact Information:

Direct questions to:

Batool Hassan, Global Fellows Manager

Head Office
76 Ninth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10011

RFP & Supporting Documents:

Full Grant Text RFP

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates / changes / addendums / conferences / LOIs.

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