Jacqueline Novogratz is leading a moral revolution. She left a successful career in banking in New York when she was 25 to head to Rwanda with hopes of launching a microfinance fund. It didn’t go quite as planned, but she persevered.

Along the way she worked for the World Bank and for Unicef, she founded leadership programs at the Rockefeller Foundation, and then in 2001 she founded Acumen. A not for profit that invests patient capital in businesses that provide critical goods and services to people living in poverty.

Acumen has invested $128 million of patient capital to build more than 130 social enterprises across Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the United States. These companies have leveraged an additional $611 million of invested funds, and brought basic services like affordable education, health care, clean water, energy and sanitation to more than 308 million people. Now that’s impact.

On this episode…

We explored Acumen’s model of bringing capital to those most in need, the devastating impact that the corona-virus has had on the world’s poorest people, how Acumen pivoted to deal with it, but we also dug deeper, to look at how we can all fund purpose in the work we’re doing right now.

We don’t have to quit our jobs and head overseas to do humanitarian work. We can re-imagine the organisation we’re in and find the courage to push for change from within. It’s hard, but we may discover that discomfort is really just a proxy for progress.

My key takeaway this week…

“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my life it, just start. Start where you are with what you have. If you keep thinking ‘I’ve got to leave this place, but I’m not going to leave until I find the perfect thing’, then you end up just sitting around, and purpose doesn’t find the people who are sitting on the starting blocks.”

Good Future’s Good Books

The Invisible Man

By Ralph Ellison


By Sir Ronald Cohen



60 Decibels


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