“A sustainable world means working together to create prosperity for all.” ~ Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen
Summary: Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and CEO of Acumen, a non-profit global venture capital fund whose goal is to use entrepreneurial approaches to address global poverty. Acumen has invested over $101 million of patient capital in 92 businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Any money returned to Acumen is reinvested in enterprises serving the poor. Currently, Acumen has offices in New York, San Francisco, London, Mumbai, Karachi, Nairobi, Accra and Bogotá. Jacqueline Novogratz is married to Chris Anderson, the curator of TED. She has three step-daughters, Elizabeth, Anna, and Zoe (1986-2010). Her brothers include Michael Novogratz and Robert Novogratz, a designer who has been profiled in the Bravo television show 9 by Design.
Q:What’s one of the most common characteristics you see among the entrepreneurs you work with? on acumen.org
A: They focus on people’s dignity. In Kenya, for example, fifty percent of the population has no access to public sanitation, no toilets. David Kuria, the founder of Ecotact, has created a company that provides clean, safe and beautiful pay-per-use public latrines and showers on public land. Most public latrines are poorly lit, dangerous and dirty. In Ecotact’s facilities, people in uniforms are constantly mopping and cleaning inside and out. They pipe in music. It’s all about making the experience pleasant and treating poor people with respect. Ecotact pays for the upkeep beyond the 5 shilling fee with advertising and marketing. They have shops on site that sell shoe shines and snacks and food, which is pretty interesting. The governments of Uganda and Tanzania are now talking to David about adopting his model.