KARACHI: Acumen in a celebration ceremony held on Friday for the Pakistan Fellows Class of 2018 stressed on the need of ‘patient capital’ for alleviating poverty.
The ceremony commemorated the completion of the 2018 cohort’s first year as Acumen Fellows and their induction into a global community of over 500 Acumen Fellows.
During the celebration, 21 social changemakers, the 6th cohort of Acumen Pakistan Fellows, showcased their leadership journeys, to an audience of Acumen team and board members, sponsors, investees, social activists, entrepreneurs and exemplary professionals from the fields of healthcare, education, finance and law.
“We are delighted to be a part of the leadership journey for these exceptional individuals who have the courage, grit and resilience to focus on solving some of the most difficult socio-economic challenges in Pakistan,” said Dr Ayesha Khan, CEO of Acumen Pakistan.
Zubayr Soomro, former CEO of Citi Bank and the board member for Acumen emphasized on the need for “patient capital” for social entrepreneurship to succeed in Pakistani markets.
From creating menstrual hygiene awareness among females in Okara to eliminating bonded labour in the weaving community of Swat, the 2018 cohort is diverse in terms of who they are and where they come from, while they carry a shared commitment to tackle poverty.
Dr Ayesha Ahmed who works in the micro-insurance and mobile health industry had an important message which said, “Whether it is our gender, class or education, we are all privileged in some way.
Don’t hide your privilege, wear it, use it. Use your social and cultural capital to benefit those who don’t have it.”
The keynote address was delivered by Kimihide Ando, Senior Vice President and CEO, Mitsubishi Corporation, Pakistan, said, “Partnering with Acumen has been an honour for us,” he said.
“As an advocate of education, health and related activities, Mitsubishi Corporation strongly believes in the values and core mission of the Fellowship Program.”
Other sponsors of the program – Midas Safety, JS Bank and Mahvash & Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation – also joined the ceremony to honour the Class of 2018.
Created in 2013, the Pakistan Fellows Program is a one-year leadership development program that equips emerging social leaders with the competence, networks and moral imagination to drive transformative change in their communities.
Acumen seeks individuals committed to creating positive change in Pakistan, who are either entrepreneur who have built their own startups or intrapreneurs working in a position of influence within an organization.
Over the course of the year, fellows take part in five week-long seminars.
The Fellows Program is fully sponsored, allowing participants to remain in their jobs so they can apply what they learn to their work in real time. At the end of the fellowship, each cohort joins an extensive global community of social leaders.