February 21, 2013 —Despite headway on a few fronts such as polio and AIDS treatment, global health challenges continue to take a toll, from the billions without access to clean water and adequate sanitation to the millions of women who give birth without skilled attendants.
Yet too often we think governments and aid organizations alone are responsible for addressing these challenges. How can entrepreneurs use the market to have an impact on global health? And how can they work with government, corporations and civil society to create more effective systemic solutions? Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of Acumen Fund, a social investment fund operating in India, Pakistan, and across Africa that has reached over 90 million people through its 70 portfolio companies, addresse these questions with examples from Acumen’s experiences working in low-income markets. Her presentation challenged the audience to think about the role they can each play in building a more inclusive, healthy future for us all.
This lecture was co-hosted by the USC Institute for Global Health and the Society and Business Lab.
Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of poverty. Acumen Fund aims to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas.
Under Jacqueline’s leadership, Acumen Fund has invested more than $75 million in 70 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 more than 55,000 jobs, leveraged an additional $200 million, and brought basic services to tens of millions.
In December 2011, Acumen Fund and Jacqueline were on the cover of Forbes magazine as part of their feature on social innovation. Prior to Acumen Fund, Jacqueline 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.
Jacqueline currently sits on the advisory boards of MIT’s Legatum Center and the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative. She 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. She was also appointed by Secretary Clinton to the Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.
She has been featured in Foreign Policy’s list of Top 100 Global Thinkers and The Daily Beast’s 25 Smartest People of the Decade. Jacqueline is a frequent speaker at forums including the Clinton Global Initiative, TED, and the Aspen Ideas Festival. 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 and to rethink their engagement with the world.
She has 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.
For more information on Acumen Fund, please visit http://www.acumenfund.org.