The Google Foundation supports select organizations whose work addresses the challenge of global poverty in ways that are effective, sustainable, and scalable. From time to time we invite guest bloggers from grantee organizations to tell their story. This is the second in a series of posts from Acumen Fund.

One of the lessons from Acumen Fund’s work is that people are as great a need as financial capital in building market-driven solutions to poverty. The world needs an "entrepreneurial bench” -- top talent with both the skills and the moral imagination to effect significant change. Which is why we're excited to announce the launch of the Acumen Fund Fellows Program. Our goal is to build a corps of leaders around the world with the imagination, skills and drive to add value to best-in-class organizations in both the social and private sectors.

The one-year, experience-based program begins first in New York, where fellows will build business skills, meet extraordinary leaders and grow their leadership abilities. Each Fellow will then spend nine months with a specific investment in the field, with a concrete set of deliverables. The program will finish with a final month in New York to share experiences and focus on potential job opportunities.

We are seeking extraordinary young professionals to make up our first cohort of Fellows. Applicants must apply by February 17. Fellows will be selected by mid-April, with the program beginning in September 2006.

We're extremely excited by the opportunity to lift a new generation of leaders, and will keep you posted on our progress.