About the Author, and the Organization
Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a nonprofit venture capital fund with a mission to create a world beyond poverty. By investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders and breakthrough ideas we believe one day every human being will have access to the critical goods and services they need – including affordable health, water, housing, energy – so that they can make decisions and choices for themselves and unleash their full human potential. This is where dignity starts – not just for the poor but for everyone on earth.
Under Jacqueline’s leadership Acumen Fund has invested over $80 million in 70 enterprises serving over 85 million low-income customers in South Asia, East and West Africa. India is Acumen’s largest portfolio with $30M invested in 25 enterprises across the healthcare, energy, agriculture, water & sanitation and education sectors.
Prior to Acumen Fund, Jacqueline Novogratz founded and directed The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership program at the Rockefeller Foundation. She began her career in international banking with Chase Manhattan Bank and founded Duterimbere, a micro-finance institution in Rwanda.
Jacqueline currently serves on the Board of the Aspen Institute as well as the advisory councils of Stanford Graduate School of Business and MIT’s Legatum Center. She is an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow, a Synergos Institute Senior Fellow and has received honors including Ernst & Young’s 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the 2009 CASE Leadership in Social Entrepreneurship Award and AWNY’s 2009 Changing the Game Award.
A frequent speaker at international conferences, including the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative and TED; her best-selling memoir The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World, now published in India by Harper Collins, chronicles her quest to understand poverty and challenges readers to grant dignity to the poor and to rethink their engagement with the world.
Praise for The Blue Sweater
‘I hope many, especially young people in India, will read and be inspired by The Blue Sweater… India’s new wealth combined with its growing band of social entrepreneurs can surely move us closer to make the bazaar more accountable to the needs of the samaaj.’ —Rohini Nilekani
‘This is a wonderful book by a remarkable woman. It’s a story about doing enormous good while having some extraordinary experiences and even adventures. It touches the heart and the mind. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about what’s really going on in the world.’ — Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post American World and editor of Time magazine
‘It tells many incredible stories—beginning with young Novogratz giving up a job with Chase Manhattan Bank and then with the World Bank to develop her own brand of social change.’ — Mint
‘A terrific and sober-minded look at the complexities of doing good.’ — Nicholas Kristof, Author and New York Times Columnist