The Blue Sweater

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World I spent a few days on the beach this Presidents Weekend and while lying in the sun, I read The Blue Sweater, a terrific book by the founder of the Acumen Fund, Jacqueline Novogratz.

Jacqueline has spent her entire career working at the intersection of philanthropy and the financial markets. Her story is all about finding a middle ground between the two.

The Acumen Fund was started almost a decade ago and it is a non-profit entity that receives grants from its donors. But instead of giving away those funds, it invests in entrepreneurs who are making a difference with for profit initiatives in the developing world; particularly India, Pakistan, and Africa.

I have always believed in the power of entrepreneurs and for profit initiatives to change the world. If you share that view, then you should read this book. I'm not suggesting that there isn't a role for pure philanthropy in this world. There is and will always be. But I am also suggesting that in the middle ground between philanthropy and raw capitalism lies a very powerful model that is worth understanding, promoting, and developing. Read this book if you want to understand that model better.