One of the most innovative players shaping philanthropy today, Jacqueline Novogratz is redefining the way problems of poverty can be solved around the world. Drawing on her past experience in banking, microfinance and traditional philanthropy, Novogratz has become a leading proponent for financing entrepreneurs and enterprises that can bring affordable clean water, housing and healthcare to poor people so that they no longer have to depend on the disappointing results and lack of accountability seen in traditional charity and old-fashioned aid.
Novogratz began her career in international banking at Chase Manhattan Bank and she also founded Duterimbere, a micro-finance institution in Rwanda. Before founding Acumen Fund, Novogratz founded and directed The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership program at the Rockefeller Foundation.
Novogratz 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 currently an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow, sits on the advisory councils of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and MIT’s Legatum Center and is a Synergos Institute Senior Fellow. Novogratz received the 2009 CASE Leadership in Social Entrepreneurship award, AWNY’s 2009 Changing the Game Award, and the 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year award from Ernst & Young. She has spoken at several international conferences including the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative and TED ::::
Acumen Fund manages more than $20 million in investments aimed at serving the poor. And most of their projects deliver stunning, inspiring results. Their success can be traced back to Novogratz herself, who possesses that rarest combination of business savvy and cultural sensitivity. In addition to seeking out sound business models, she places great importance on identifying solutions from within communities rather than imposing them from the outside. “People don’t want handouts,” Novogratz said at TEDGlobal 2005. “They want to make their own decisions, to solve their own problems.”
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