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The Tokyo Foundation Initiates Partnership with Acumen Fund

Tags: Entrepreneur , Partnership , Economic Growth , Poverty , Education , Consumer

Sugai, Keita

October 14, 2008

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Established in 2001 in New York, Acumen Fund is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to the problem of global poverty. Identifying with the goals of Acumen Fund, the Tokyo Foundation has initiated partnership with the Fund. Specifically, the Foundation promotes the Acumen Fund Fellows Program (AFFP) and solicits applications in Japan.

Background and Purpose

The AFFP, administered by Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty, aims to build an entrepreneurial bench of professional talent with strong financial and operational skills, experience in low-income markets, and the moral imagination to build enterprises that meet the needs of low-income consumers.

The AFFP offers a 12-month fellowship starting in September 2009 that includes a seven-week intensive leadership training in the Acumen Fund New York Office, followed by a 10 month-long work for an Acumen Fund investee organization primarily based in South Asia and East Africa centering on critical business issues facing the organization, and a three-week wrap-up program in New York.

The Tokyo Foundation identifies with the goals envisaged by Acumen Fund since the Foundation engages in human resource and leadership development in Japan and around the world. The Foundation wishes to support the AFFP by creating awareness among those in Japan who have not been exposed to this program, identifying strong candidates who are committed to pursuing their career as social entrepreneurs, and lending partial financial support to cover the costs of the selected fellow from Japan.

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Acumen Fellows at the leadership
training in the Acumen Fund New
York Office

The Tokyo Foundation identifies with the goals envisaged by Acumen Fund since the Foundation engages in human resource and leadership development in Japan and around the world. The Foundation wishes to support the AFFP by creating awareness among those in Japan who have not been exposed to this program, identifying strong candidates who are committed to pursuing their career as social entrepreneurs, and lending partial financial support to cover the costs of the selected fellow from Japan.

The Tokyo Foundation Fellowship for the Selected AFFP Fellow

The Tokyo Foundation provides a fellowship for the selected fellow which is equivalent to that for the other AFFP fellows covering monthly cost of living, air tickets and related expenses for the duration of the year-long program.

Eligibility / Qualifications

1. Ideal fellows include those who have already decided on a career in venture philanthropy, those who are seeking a career at the highest levels in the corporate world but want to better understand and impact problems of global poverty, and budding social entrepreneurs who want to learn about managing organizations in the most demanding settings.

2. The AFFP is looking for individuals who can also quickly create impact at Acumen Fund's investees and who have had management responsibility and experience working in ambiguous environments, preferably in the developing world.

3.  A graduate degree is preferred but not necessary.

4. Applicant must be committed to participating in the AFFP fully for 12 months.

5. High level of competency in verbal and written English is essential (all programs are conducted in English).*

6. Applicant must be a Japanese national or a permanent resident in Japan.*

*Additional requirements for the promotion of AFFP in Japan.

Application Documents

*The following forms and instructions are posted or downloadable below. All the application documents must be written in English.

1. Application Form "Acumen09 Application Form by tkfd.doc"

2. Resume or CV (no prescribed form; any format is acceptable)

3. Short essay responses "Application Essay Questions.pdf"

4. A letter of recommendation "Instruction for a Letter of Recommendation.pdf"

Application Deadline

All application documents must be sent to the Scholarship Division of the Tokyo Foundation by e-mail <scholarship@tkfd.or.jp> no later than November 25, 2008.**

**Special deadline for this Tokyo Foundation sponsored program; the original deadline set by Acumen Fund is October 20, 2008.

Selection Schedule

 

The Tokyo Foundation will review applications, select a subset of candidates for interviews that will take place in Tokyo (November 29 or 30), and select 3-6 finalists. The finalists will then be invited to an in-person case study and panel interview that will take place in India around January 9, 2009 (details to be notified later). The Tokyo Foundation will cover the cost of a round-trip air ticket, local transportation, accommodation, etc. for this trip. Each finalist will also be asked to attend a dinner with Acumen Fund staff and partners on the evening before their in-person interview. After these dinners and interviews are complete the Acumen recruiting team, including senior management at Acumen, will make a final selection and extend offers to join the Acumen Fund Fellows Class of 2010. Offers shall be extended to successful candidates by February 1, 2009.

Other Considerations

While cultivating a pool of talent from Japan, the Tokyo Foundation expects prospective fellows to commit themselves to tackling socially meaningful endeavors in developing countries and around the world. Note that other than the extension of the application deadline to November 25, 2008 there is no special treatment for the Tokyo Foundation's candidates vis-à-vis other candidates. For more information on the AFFP, visit the Acumen Fund website. (http://www.acumenfund.org/get-involved/fellows-program.html)

Also, note that the Tokyo Foundation will not accept applications that have already been submitted directly to the Acumen Fund.

Application documents and inquiries should be addressed to:

Scholarship Division, The Tokyo Foundation
(attn: Keita Sugai, Program Officer)

The Nippon Foundation Bldg. 3rd Floor
1-2-2 Akasaka, Minato-ku
Tokyo 107-0052, Japan
Tel: 03-6229-5503
Fax: 03-6229-5507
E-mail: scholarship@tkfd.or.jp
URL: http://www.tokyofoundation.org/en/

About Acumen Fund www.acumenfund.org

Acumen Fund is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. It seeks to prove that small amounts of philanthropic capital, combined with large doses of business acumen, can build thriving enterprises that serve vast numbers of the poor. Its investments focus on delivering affordable, critical goods and services - like health, water, housing and energy - through innovative, market-oriented approaches.

The AFFP, administered by Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty, aims to build an entrepreneurial bench of professional talent with strong financial and operational skills, experience in low-income markets, and the moral imagination to build enterprises that meet the needs of low-income consumers.

The AFFP offers a 12-month fellowship starting in September 2009 that includes a seven-week intensive leadership training in the Acumen Fund New York Office, followed by a 10 month-long work for an Acumen Fund investee organization primarily based in South Asia and East Africa centering on critical business issues facing the organization, and a three-week wrap-up program in New York.

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