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I love watching the TED videos, for me they are inspiring and mind-blower. I always use the functionality of random videos: “Suprise me.” And one of these videos really surprised me. The speaker was Jacqueline Novogratz and the video is named: A third way to think about aid.
In the video Jacqueline shows the result of over 10 years work as founder of the Acumen Fund, a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas.” Using his experience in banking, microfinance and traditional philanthropy, Novogratz innovated the way to do philanthropy by creating a new approach to tackling poverty. The Patient Capital.
Instead of handing out money, in the form of grants, Acumen invests with loans or equity in emerging companies and organizations that develop products and solutions that can enhance or even change the lives of poor people. Like a Venture Capital, Acumen offers more than just money, but also gives infrastructure and managment expertise. Thus companies can offer critical services – water, health, housing, and energy – at affordable prices to people earning less than four dollars a day.
This is a great example of using old things (the same that put these people in such terrible situation) into different models to create innovative solution.
Here you can see the video I saw:
Here an Acumen’s presentation:
Acumen Fund website: http://www.acumenfund.org/
More Jacqueline Novogratz video on TED: http://www.acumenfund.org/about-us/our-team/jacqueline-novogratz.html