06/11/2010 07:51 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Acumen Fund: "The New Recruits"

Check out a forthcoming Ironbound Films documentary talking about real results from the Acumen Fund. It airs on 15 June on PBS.

The theme is that providing charitable services such as handouts to poor people
sometimes fails; however, social entrepreneurship, where people are
treated as equals and customers, looks effective in raising people out of
poverty. Acumen has succeeded using this approach, and seeks to expand the

Here's more:

This doc looks at a group of young people with business backgrounds armed
with a radical plan to end global poverty: support businesses that charge poor
people for goods and services. Heidi, Joel, and Suraj go through a rigorous
application process to participate in the year-long Acumen Fund Fellows Program. It
sends 10
young professionals to work with Acumen-funded social enterprises in Kenya,
India and Pakistan.

The three business grads featured in the film embarked on a year-long fellowship
with the Acumen Fund, which invests in market-based solutions that provide basic
goods and services - water, healthcare, housing,
agricultural inputs and energy - to the poor.

The goal is to help create sustainable businesses that provide long-term
solutions to the problems of global poverty. Acumen's approach replaces the
culture of day-to-day handouts with the dignity of choice.  It supports new
business models that provide poor consumers with a voice that has the power to
influence everything from price to product design. 

These aspiring Fellows believe that businesses that serve the poor have the
potential to create large-scale solutions
for developing world issues and feel the poor benefit from being treated as
customers rather than passive recipients of handouts. The New Recruits shows
honest, generous people attempting to use capitalist tools to uplift rather than