Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a nonprofit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. Acumen Fund invests patient capital to identify, strengthen, and scale business models that effectively serve the poor and champions this approach as an effective complement to traditional aid. Acumen Fund currently manages more than $83 million in investments in 75 companies in South Asia and Africa, all focused on delivering affordable healthcare, water, housing, and energy to the poor. These companies have created and supported 58,000 jobs, leveraged an additional $368 million, and brought basic services to more than 100 million people.
In December 2011, Acumen and Novogratz were on the cover of Forbes magazine as part of its feature on social innovation. Prior to Acumen Fund, Novogratz founded and directed The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership programs at the Rockefeller Foundation. She also founded Duterimbere, a micro-finance institution in Rwanda. She began her career in international banking with Chase Manhattan Bank. She currently sits on the advisory boards of Sonen Capital, Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative and the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED). She also serves on the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees and the board of IDEO.org, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Social Innovation.
Novogratz has been featured in Foreign Policy’s list of Top 100 Global Thinkers and The Daily Beast’s 25 Smartest People of the Decade. She is a frequent speaker at forums including the Clinton Global Initiative, TED, and the Aspen Ideas Festival. Her 2010 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 and to rethink their engagement with the world.
She holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA in Economics/International Relations from the University of Virginia. She has received honorary doctorates from the University of Notre Dame, Wofford College, Gettysburg College, and Fordham University as well the Freedom from Want Award from the Roosevelt Institute in 2011.
The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich & Poor in an Interconnected World
Patient Capital for an Impatient World
Entrepreneurial Approaches to the Challenges of Poverty