Chris Maranga named regional director as Acumen gears for new phase of Kshs 50 billion regional impact investment




 In preparation for its next growth phase in East Africa, Acumen, a global impact investment firm has announced new executive leadership.
In a statement from its head office, Acumen stated that it has tapped Chris Maranga from the Danish Development Finance Institution’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU). The firm noted that Maranga’s remit is to lead Acumen’s East Africa impact investing programs, with an emphasis on funding more local entrepreneurs in climate-related and agricultural ventures, growing the Acumen Academy and extending its impact beyond the 123 million lives it has touched over the past 20 years.
To power this new phase of its regional investment direction, Acumen’s work in East Africa is backed by the latest Kshs 32.5 billion ($250 million) Hardest-to-Reach Initiative to deepen energy access, in the process expanding the firm’s efforts to support entrepreneurs in off-grid solar and clean energy infrastructure businesses to extend access to rural and urban households.
(TOP: Chris Maranga, the newly appointed Acumen East Africa Regional Director). 
In addition, Acumen also has two climate impact funds known as KawiSafi Ventures and Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund, which have collectively raised Kshs 17 billion ($136 million) to fund clean energy and resilient agriculture solutions in the region. In total, Acumen has raised just of Kshs 50 billion for its impact investment programs across Africa.
“Acumen is dedicated to driving social change and our mission here is to enhance the lives of the millions of East Africans through empowering local entrepreneurs that currently lack access to the capital and support they deserve to scale their businesses successfully”, said Chris Maranga, Acumen East Africa Director.
He explained that Acumen’s proposition is to invest in innovative social business models that solve problems in ways that conventional investors have typically shied away from. Since 2008, Acumen East Africa has been actively investing in enterprises in climate-resilient agriculture, clean energy, and education, deploying Kshs 6 billion ($49 million) to fund 43 companies, including Ampersand, BURN Manufacturing, d.light, and Ethiochicken (part of Hatch Africa).
“We’re thrilled to welcome Chris Maranga as the new Director of the Acumen East Africa team,” said Jacqueline Novogratz, the founder and CEO of Acumen.
She added that Acumen is at an inflection point with its patient investments scaling, supported by a series of for-profit impact funds, while the Acumen Academy is also growing – as is its impact, amid the challenges East Africa faces.
Acumen is a global force of entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, and social innovators working together to build a world based on dignity. It was founded by Jacqueline Novogratz on the radical idea that business, when cultivated with moral imagination, can break the cycle of poverty. Acumen invests in transformational companies, builds sustainable markets, and prepares leaders with the tools they need to create a more just and inclusive future. Since 2001, the firm has scaled companies and shaped markets in some of the hardest-to-reach communities on the planet, impacting over half-a-billion lives.

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