The world faces many grand challenges: climate change, food insecurity, lack of access clean water and energy, improper sanitation, and other environmental and public health dilemmas. These challenges are often directly associated with poverty, financially and otherwise. At the same time, entrepreneurship and market-based approaches have proven models to scale access to products and services worldwide. At Acara, we believe in empowering the next generation of leaders to be prepared to address the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges through the tools of business. We are the Acara impact entrepreneurship program at the University of Minnesota.
Acara was founded in November 2008 by a diverse team of experienced professionals with a passion for social ventures and nurturing future leaders. While Acara started as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit, the Acara Institute, in 2011 it has became a program based at the Institute of the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota run in partnership with the College of Science and Engineering and the Carlson School of Management. Since 2008, Acara has developed into an innovative and globally recognized university impact entrepreneurship program that brings an effective approach to shape leaders and ventures for global impact. We have trained more than 1,000 student entrepreneurs developing more than 100 businesses through impact entrepreneurship programs based in North America, South Asia, and East Africa.