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View From The Top: Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO, Acumen

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Jacqueline Novogratz, MBA '91, is the founder and CEO of Acumen, and a recognized leader and innovator in the social impact sector. Her work began in 1986 when she quit her job on Wall Street to co-found Rwanda’s first microfinance institution, Duterimbere; the experience inspired her to write the bestselling book The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor, and, in 2001, launch Acumen. A pioneer of impact investing, Acumen has invested more than $146 million of patient capital into 151 companies affecting the lives of nearly 400 million people across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States in the areas of clean energy, agriculture, healthcare, and education. Acumen also has launched four for-profit funds, including KawiSafi, a nearly $70 million impact fund focused on off-grid solar energy in East Africa, and ARAF, a first-of-its-kind $58 million fund focused on helping smallholder farmers mitigate the impacts of climate change.  

In 2020, she released her second book,  Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World, which serves as a blueprint to the next generation of leaders who are seeking to make an impact in our changing world. A leader in the issues of poverty, the role of dignity, and the necessity of finding the moral imagination we need to address today’s problems, Jacqueline also sits on the board of 60 Decibels, as well as on a variety of advisory boards. She has been named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy, one of the 25 Smartest People of the Decade by the Daily Beast, and one of the world’s 100 Greatest Living Business Minds by Forbes, which also honored her with the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

 

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