Type of Funding

Partially funded




The Acumen Fellowship Program is being operated in Malaysia, Colombia, East Africa, West Africa, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This is a 1-year leadership development program for social changemakers where fellows remain in their jobs and come together for 5 seminars during the year, each of 6 days duration, to receive the tools and training to innovate and conceive new ideas, accelerate their impact and build a strong network of social leaders across the region and around the world. The total in-person time commitment is about 30 days over the course of the year, plus travel time to the seminar locations. The program design is centered on group-based learning, self-reflection, and real-world application. Fellows receive training, practical tools and the space to explore their own leadership journeys while connecting with innovators across Acumen’s local and global communities.

Acumen is inviting founders, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, policymakers, innovators and movement builders in Malaysia, Colombia, East Africa, West Africa, India and Bangladesh who are working towards positive change in their communities, to apply for the 2020 Acumen Regional Fellows Program. Each year, 20 emerging leaders are accepted into each of the regional programs. There is no Pakistan program for AY 2020.


Acumen covers all program-related costs during the year-long fellowship, which includes travel, food, visas and accommodation. Scholarships, stipends or funding are not provided.

After completing the first year, Fellows may receive continued mentorship and coaching.


Applicants must be from Colombia, East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, and South Sudan), India, Malaysia, Bangladesh and West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) and must be individuals who dare to do what’s right, not what’s easy, to create positive change in their country. They do not necessarily have to be social entrepreneurs, and can be from any sector (non-profit, for profit, social enterprise or government) working in any issue area (e.g. human rights, agriculture, education, etc). They must be committed to ending poverty in their community through the work They should currently be leading or are an integral part of building an initiative committed to eradicating poverty and injustice.

They should typically be entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs or organization builders, in for-profits, non-profits, or government. They can be of any age or education level, so long as they are able to participate in a program conducted in English, or in Spanish for those in the Colombia Program. They should be individuals who have a demonstrated history of impact, commitment and concrete connection to the region and are leaders with strong personal integrity, unrelenting perseverance and moral imagination. They have to be committed to an intensive year-long personal transformation and leadership journey followed by an induction into the larger Fellows Community.

See the Official Website for specific eligibility requirements for each Region.


Applications are to be done online by 11 August 2019 except for the Pakistan program. There is no Pakistan program for AY 2020.

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