As part of the GIIN’s mission to accelerate the scale and effectiveness of impact investing, we publish job openings from members of the GIIN Investors’ Council and other impact investing leaders.

Acumen America Portfolio, Senior Associate

at Acumen in San Francisco

About the Job

Acumen America is looking for a Senior Associate to join our San Francisco-based, US venture investing team. We’re looking for someone with 4-6 years of investing experience and a proven commitment to tackling poverty. The right candidate is bold, creative, and can excel in a fast-paced, start up environment.

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 $115 million in 113 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.

The Senior Associate will be joining a small team building aportfolio of game-changing companiesfocused on tackling poverty in the United States. The team is responsible for finding, vetting, structuring and managing investments in companies that serve low-income Americans in our three portfolio sectors: financial inclusion, workforce development and health. This position is entrepreneurial and preferred candidates will be excited by a start-up environment.

The Senior Associate will source and evaluate new investment opportunities, conduct due diligence on high potential opportunities, and assist with structuring deal terms. The Senior Associate will use his or her investing skills to evaluate the growth and return potential of companies from both a financial and social impact perspective. The Senior Associate will also prepare analysis for presentation to Acumen America’s Investment Committee.

The Senior Associate will develop research and analysis related to Acumen America’s investment portfolio and its performance, fundraising and strategic partnership initiatives, and management of portfolio operations. The Senior Associate will contribute to actively building and cultivating Acumen America’s networks in the venture and impact investing communities, and will contribute to developing insight and communicaitons pieces for external audiences. The Senior Associate will also be responsible for coordinating relationships with select portfolio companies, in collaboration with senior team members.

The individual in this role must be comfortable working in a fast-paced, changing environment, executing quickly on a range of transactional responsibilities, as well as thinking critically to add value and solve problems. More specifically, you will be responsible for:

Early Stage Venture Investing
+ Identifying, cultivating, and reviewing a pipeline of early stage investment opportunities providing critical services to low-income Americans
+ Conducting thorough due diligence and investment analysis, including financial modeling, valuation review and structuring
+ Preparing and presenting detailed and compelling investment documentation for Acumen America’s Investment Committee

Portfolio Management
+ Assess portfolio company needs related to post investment support; design and implement post-investment management interventions in coordination with senior team members
+ Design and evaluate key metrics to measure the social and financial returns on investments
+ Develop long-term relationships with external stakeholders including funders, advisors, thought leaders, sector and functional experts to provide support across the portfolio

Portfolio Operations
+ Work with the Acumen America team to analyze and document data-driven explanations for portfolio decisions; to extract and document investment-specific and general insights; to analyze metrics data to identify patterns; and to channel that data to outputs for marketing and fundraising efforts
+ Produce discrete knowledge and research materials based on lessons from Acumen’s portfolio

This role will report to the team’s Director.


+ 4-6 years of experience in venture capital, private equity, investment banking, or investment management, including experience with financial and operational due diligence of early stage businesses
+ Superior financial and business analysis skills, as demonstrated by prior experience
+ Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to present arguments and analysis in a clear and succinct manner to Acumen management, partners and investees
+ Strong ability to take initiative with research and analysis and produce valuable results in conditions of uncertainty
+ Solid operational skills including problem solving and project management skills, including ability to work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure
+ Familiarity with the social enterprise and impact investing sectors; demonstrated commitment to tackling challenges of poverty is preferred
+ Bachelor's Degree is required
+ Must be authorized to work in the U.S. on a permanent basis

Additional characteristics we’re looking for in all roles at Acumen:
+ 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
+ Exceptional relationship and interpersonal skills: courtesy, tact, empathy, patience and strong team orientation
+ Strong communication skills and ability to be a “storyteller” of our work
+ Curiosity – proactive and continuous learner; always questioning, researching and testing ideas and assumptions

To apply

Please submit your resume and answer the following questions here:
1. Please share an example of a business that is serving low-income Americans, and why you think the company has the potential to create systems change that will reduce poverty in the U.S.? (MAX: 150 words.)
2. When evaluating an early-stage investment opportunity for Acumen America, which 2-3 criteria would you prioritize to inform an investment decision? (MAX: 150 words.)
3. Please describe a situation in which you had to manage a process in an uncertain and fast-paced environment. How were you able to navigate the ambiguity while engaging other stakeholders in the process? (MAX: 150 words.)


We are a global community changing the way the world tackles poverty.
Neither the markets nor aid alone can solve the problems of poverty. More than two billion people around the world lack access to basic goods and services—from clean water and electricity to an education and the freedom to participate in the economy. We’re here to change that. Our vision is a world based on dignity, where every human being has the same opportunity. Rather than giving philanthropy away, we invest it in companies and change makers.