Jacqueline Novogratz to Receive 2013 Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity
September 18, 2013
Social entrepreneur Jacqueline Novogratz will receive this year’s Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity at a campus ceremony at 4:00 pm on October 31, in recognition of her pioneering work to combine best practices from the worlds of business, aid, and charity in the service of human development.
Her innovative approach views people living in poverty not as passive victims in need of charity but as human beings with inherent dignity and the right to make choices for themselves.
The founder and CEO of Acumen, a nonprofit global venture fund, Novogratz has brought together free markets and philanthropy, investing charitable donations in businesses that provide essential services to the world’s poor while creating thousands of jobs. Acumen takes pride in being mindful of both financial and social returns on its investments.
A graduate of the Stanford Business School, Novogratz left a budding career on Wall Street to pomote microfinance for poor women in the developing world. Her bestselling memoir, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between the Rich and the Poor in an Interconnected World, tells the story of the journey that inspired her to found Acumen.
The organization employs a unique process, investing philanthropic capital in the form of equity or loans—not grants—in ventures that yield both financial and social returns. Since its founding in 2001, the fund has invested over $80 million in Africa and South Asia in companies focused on delivering affordable healthcare, water, housing, and energy to the poor. These companies have created over 58,000 jobs and provided services to approximately 100 million people.
Presented by the Kellogg Institute’s Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, the Notre Dame Award recognizes substantial contributions to international human development through research, practice, public service, or philanthropy. Recipients are honored for standing in solidarity with those in deepest need, supporting them to become agents of their own change.
Past recipients of the Notre Dame Award include Amartya Sen, development economist and Nobel laureate; Paul Farmer and Ophelia Dahl on behalf of Partners In Health, a nonprofit providing a preferential healthcare option for the poor; and Ray Chambers, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria.