Acumen East Africa Fellows Program 2023 for emerging Leaders in East Africa (Fully Funded)

Application Deadline: November 28, 2022

Each year, the Acumen East Africa Fellows Programme brings together 20 extraordinary individuals tackling poverty and injustice in their communities and equips them with the knowledge, skills, and community to strengthen their leadership, as well as the capacity of their ventures to scale and create meaningful change in East Africa.

The Fellowship begins with an intensive leadership programme. Fellows remain in their jobs while taking part in a series of multi-day virtual seminars, paired with online group and individual assignments between seminars, all connected by group practice. This is where practical skills meet moral imagination. The programme is designed to increase a Fellow’s capacity to lead social change and tackle problems of poverty and injustice.

After the first year, Fellows become part of Acumen’s global community of social innovators, who are committed to life-long learning, collaboration, and accompaniment as they drive change.

The next East Africa Fellowship runs from May 2023 to December 2023.


  • Entrepreneurs: Leaders of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations providing critical goods or services to the underserved.
  • Intrapreneurs: Leaders who are bringing to life new initiatives or approaches within the organization. The focus is on designing, testing, incubating, and implementing ideas that enable the organization to pursue its purpose.
  • Organizational Builders: Leaders who play an integral role in building the organization. The focus is on building the internal blocks, systems, and processes that enable the organization to pursue its purpose.

Year 1

  • Join a diverse cohort of 20 leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and Ethiopia
  • Acumen Fellows are drawn from diverse sectors, disciplines, organisations and social change journeys 
  • All programme costs covered by Acumen Academy East Africa 
  • Multiple virtual multi-day seminars and workshops, paired with individual and group online assignments between seminars 
  • Learning that is immediately applied to your life and work 
  • Peer coaching that challenges and accompanies you in your social change work 
  • Cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself and your work in a broader context 
  • Navigate uncertainty and embrace the meaningful process of creating change

Beyond Year 1

  • Join Acumen’s growing community of social innovators and builders accompanying each other from across the globe committed to a world beyond poverty and injustice
  • Opportunities to network, collaborate, as well as learn from and share experiences with other Acumen social innovators both locally and globally
  • After the first year of the Acumen Fellowship, fellows take part in a range of opportunities that are designed to both further their impact and build their communities

In the Fellowship Program You Will:

  • Learn to catalyse and embrace the gradual and meaningful process of creating change at the personal, organisational, and societal levels
  • Cultivate the ability to lead effectively when opposing but interdependent values are in tension
  • Understand how to lead diverse stakeholders through recurring and complex challenges
  • Develop the capacity to tell meaningful stories that speak across lines of difference and move others to action
  • Examine your identities, values, and choices that have shaped your journey till now and cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself and your work in a broader context
  • Explore the meaning of a just society and the moral and historical foundation of social change through text-based dialogue
  • Navigate systemic problems and design more effective interventions using moral imagination
  • Question your assumptions and beliefs about leading effective change
  • Be supported and accompanied by a cohort of like-minded peers persevering in the process of driving social change

How to Apply:

  1. Stage 1: Apply online — what are you telling us? Open 24 October and close on 28 November
  2. Stage 2: Complete your online assignments — what are you showing us? 
  3. Stage 3: Attend the Selection Conference — why is this the right time for you to be a Fellow?
  4. Stage 4: Start the Acumen Fellowship in May.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Acumen East Africa Fellows Program 2023


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