Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen, created a new philanthropic business model for patient, disciplined investment in disruptive innovations in emerging markets. Acumen’s mission is to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas. It invests patient capital to identify, strengthen and scale business models that effectively serve the poor. And it champions the spread of this approach as a complement to traditional aid, which can create dependence, or pure market approaches, which can bypass the actual needs of the poor.
“I believe that we have a chance to build a world in which all human beings can live with dignity, freedom and choice. It starts with imagining that world and then working together.”
Under Jacqueline’s leadership, Acumen has invested over $88M in 82 companies in South Asia and Africa focused on delivering healthcare, water, housing, education and energy to the poor. These companies have created and supported 60,000 jobs, bringing basic services to over 125M people. Before Acumen, Jacqueline founded and directed the Rockefeller Foundation’s The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership programs, co-founded Duterimbere, a micro-finance institution in Rwanda, and began her career in international banking with Chase Manhattan Bank. Jacqueline has been featured on the cover of Forbes magazine and sits on several advisory councils and boards, such as the Aspen Institute and IDEO.org. Her best-selling memoir The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World chronicles her quest to understand poverty and challenges readers to grant dignity to the poor. She holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA from the University of Virginia.
Twitter – @jnovogratz