Apple today joined Acumen in a new effort to support social enterprises in India to improve livelihoods through clean energy innovation. Through the Energy for Livelihoods Accelerator, Acumen experts will lead a 12-week program designed to help social entrepreneurs scale and refine their businesses to transform the lives of people living in poverty, while also protecting the environment.
Applications are open now, with programming beginning in September of this year. Leaders of social enterprises — businesses with a clear social or environmental mission — working to advance sustainable energy solutions for small businesses and farmers in India are invited to apply through July 24.
“Apple is committed to helping ensure everyone can share in the benefits of a greener economy,” said Sarah Chandler, Apple’s vice president of Environment and Supply Chain Innovation. “We’re demonstrating the transformative potential of clean energy in everything we do, and excited to support social innovators who share that goal.”
“For over 20 years, Acumen has invested in early-stage social enterprises addressing problems of poverty in India, and some of our most innovative recent investments have been at the intersection of energy access and livelihoods,” said Mahesh Yagnaraman, Acumen’s director of India. “We are excited to partner with Apple to continue building an ecosystem of scalable social businesses in India committed to improving livelihoods using sustainable energy.”
Program participants will gain access to a supportive network of peers, facilitators, and mentors. Afterward, they’ll be welcomed into Acumen Academy’s global community, The Foundry, and will be eligible for technical assistance and early-stage investment from Acumen’s Pioneer Energy Investment Initiative (PEII+).
In India, in addition to working with Acumen, Apple has partnered with Frank Water to expand access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene; and with the Applied Environmental Research Foundation (AERF) to preserve mangroves along India’s west coast.
Apple is laser-focused on its ambitious Apple 2030 goal to be carbon neutral for every product. To help achieve this, more than 250 global manufacturing partners — including 12 operating in India — have already committed to 100 percent renewable energy for all Apple production by 2030. Additionally, all final assembly sites in India have achieved zero waste. Also this year, Apple expanded its innovative Restore Fund for high-quality, nature-based carbon removal and announced new 2025 targets to use 100 percent recycled cobalt1 in all Apple-designed batteries, recycled rare earth elements in all magnets, and recycled gold plating and tin soldering in all Apple-designed printed circuit boards.
  1. All cobalt content references are on a mass balance system basis.