Jaqueline Novogratz is a great inspiration to many because she has paved the way for sustainable social philanthropy- Investment rather than Aid. She is the CEO and founder of Acumen, a non profit venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs in India, East and West Africa, and Pakistan. The companies Acumen invest in have created and supported more than 57,000 jobs, leveraged an additional $360 million, and reached over 90 million lives.
Voted one of “The 5 Most Powerful Women Changing The World With Social Entrepreneurship” by Forbes (link here), its no wonder that she is taking the Aid sector by storm. I had the opportunity to meet her last November and hear- first hand- what Acumen was doing. People want choices, they want control, and they want dignity. This is what Acumen achieves. A lot of my friends constantly hear me talk about her, but common, there is a reason! She is so inspirational, and has achieved so much. Not happy with just generating money on Wall Street, she left her high salary job and ventured into the world of philanthropy. What a risk, but my god has it payed off. Many of the people Acumen has hired feel the same way that she did, they just didn’t feel that their job at Goldman Sachs or Merrill Lynch fulfilled them.
While I’m not aspiring to work with philanthropy or in an NGO I still admire the efforts of those who do. Who knows, maybe I’ll dabble in it or at the age of 50 decide that I, too, am not fulfilled by my job.
Nonetheless, Jacqueline Novogratz is a woman to learn from and admire. We need more people like her in the world.