Following a rigorous application process, Acumen Academy has selected 23 Bangladeshi changemakers as Fellows for the inaugural group of the Acumen Fellowship Program.
Offered concurrently in Bangladesh, East and West Africa, India, Colombia, Spain and Malaysia, the Acumen Fellowship is a year-long intensive leadership development program for emerging leaders who are building solutions to tackle problems around poverty and social justice.
Upon completion, the Bangladesh cohort will join Acumen’s global community of more than 500 fellows.
Fellows from past cohorts, from around the world, have received prestigious social impact awards, and have made an impact on more than 8 million lives across the world.
Starting with this cohort in 2020, Acumen Academy Bangladesh will run the fellowship annually for change makers across Bangladesh to build their capacity and strengthen their community to positively transform society.
From 230 potential applicants, candidates were assessed through a holistic 3-stage application process that included written applications, video submissions and a final selection conference.
Of them, 42 shortlisted candidates were invited to the Selection Conference on November 29, 2019, where 38 distinguished panelists from diverse sectors assessed the candidates through group activities and in-depth interviews.
From them, 23 were finally selected.
The 23 fellows represent diverse cultural, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds and work in multiple sectors with the commitment to end poverty and injustice in their community through their work.
Of the 23, some are social entrepreneurs who have launched or led their own social change initiatives, some are intrapreneurs who are running a social change initiative within an existing organisation, and some are organisation builders who are an integral part of building a social change organisation.
Each of their initiatives exist to eradicate poverty or fight injustice and are actively changing the systems they operate in.
During the course of the fellowship, fellows will remain in their jobs, while are participating in several multi-day immersive seminars and engaging in online content in the seminars.
These experiences are designed to create space for self-reflection, as well as a focus on real-world applicability, equipping with leadership across Bangladesh.
The 2020 cohort of the Acumen Fellowship, the first in Bangladesh, includes:
1. Achia Khaleda, Managing Director, Women in Digital, works to increase the number of women and girls in technology through capacity-building initiatives.
2. Arifa As Alam, Project Coordinator, Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE Foundation), works to ensure the rights and protection of vulnerable garment workers.
3. Azwa Nayeem, Founder and Chairperson, Alokito Hridoy, works to improve the quality of education in public primary schools through teacher training and fostering 21st Century skills.
4. Bishwamitra Chowdhury, Chief of Operation, Funush Private Limited, founded CareerKi, a career growth platform for youth to provide skill-based talent solutions for employers.
5. Esrat Karim, Founder and Director, AMAL Foundation, supports marginalized communities of Bangladesh through capacity building and disaster relief.
6. Farhana Rashid, CEO and Co-founder, Bhumijo Limited, works to provide and improve public sanitation services in Bangladesh.
7. G M Rakibul Islam, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Administration, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Bangladesh works to develop future leaders and managers for the education sector in Bangladesh.
8. J N Tawhida Shiropa, Founder and CEO, Moner Bondhu, works to promote affordable and accessible mental health services.
9. Lipi Rahman, Executive Director, Badabon Shangho works in Rampal to increase access to and control over lands, property and water-bodies for marginalised women.
10. Md. Rubaiyath Sarwar, Managing Director, Innovision Consulting Private Limited, supports private and public sector organisations to innovate on solutions to development barriers.
11. Md. Sekender Ali Mina, Executive Director, Safety and Rights Society,works to improve workplace health and safety and working conditions in Bangladesh.
12. Mohammad Rejaul Karim Siddiquee, Chairperson, Disability Inclusive Justice and Legal Aid Association (DIJLA), works to foster transparent and responsible governing systems.
13. Md. Asad-ur-Rahman Nile, Country Director- Bangladesh, Simprints Technology Ltd. works to provide biometric solutions for frontline workers to ensure verified impact.
14. Muktasree Chakma, Founder and Executive Director, Supporting People and Rebuilding Communities- SPaRC, works to improve the lives of indigenous women and girls in the Chittagong Hill Tracts
15. Nasreen Sultana, Founder and Editor, Project Tiktaalik, uses cartoons as a tool to make learning more engaging students.
16. Nawshin Khair, Managing Director, Aranya Crafts Ltd, promotes Bangladeshi artisan products worldwide and empowers women by giving them access to livelihoods.
17. Nirjhor Rahman, CEO, Bangladesh Angels Network runs the country' first angel investment network to connect innovative startups with smart capital via individual and institutional investors.
18. Rakib Avi, Programme Coordinator, Executive Director's Office and Social Innovation Lab, BRAC, works to build knowledge, skills and prototypes for sustainable social entrepreneurship.
19. Rubayat Khan, CEO, Jeeon, works to improve the quality of care in pharmacies to reduce health inequalities faced by rural populations.
20. Sohara Mehroze Shachi, Research Officer, UNDP, works to mobilise climate finance and address climate change impacts on vulnerable groups.
22. Vashkar Bhattacharjee, Program Manager, Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) and National Consultant (Accessibility) a2i, works to support young people with disabilities foster inclusion.
23. Zareen Mahmud Hosein, Founder and Executive Director, Her Story Foundation, uses storytelling, training and awareness raising to address issues of gender equity.
Acumen works to change the way the world tackles poverty. To do this, they seek out and invest in entrepreneurs and leaders with character, competence and moral leadership.
Founded in 2001, Acumen has been named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies and Acumen Founder and CEO Jacqueline Novogratz was named one of the Forbes 100 Greatest Living Business Minds.