Acumen Fund’s Jacqueline Novogratz to speak at May 20 Commencement

Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty, will speak and receive an honorary degree May 20 at Gettysburg College's 177th Commencement. The 11 a.m. ceremony will take place - rain or shine - on the Beachem Portico on the north side of Pennsylvania Hall.

Novogratz has dedicated her career to making a difference in the world. As a former consultant for the World Bank and UNICEF in Africa, she helped found Duterimbere, Rwanda's first microfinance institution. Novogratz also founded and directed The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership programs at the Rockefeller Foundation before starting Acumen Fund in 2001.

Acumen Fund and Novogratz are featured in the Dec. 19 cover story of Forbes magazine. The article focuses on how Acumen Fund invests money in small-time entrepreneurs in developing countries to solve the problems associated with poverty.

Novogratz is the author of, "The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World," which examines her quest to understand poverty based partially on an experience that led to her giving away a favorite sweater to Goodwill, only to find the same sweater years later on a boy in Rwanda.

Novogratz was honored as the 2010 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year, and was named to Foreign Policy's list of Top 100 Global Thinkers and The Daily Beast's 25 Smartest People of the Decade.

A frequent speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative and TED, Novogratz serves on the advisory boards of Stanford Graduate School of Business, MIT's Legatum Center, and Innovations Journal published by MIT Press. She also serves on the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees and the board of IDEO.org, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Social Innovation.

Acumen Fund is a pioneering not-for-profit venture fund that is changing how the world addresses poverty. Acumen Fund invests capital in businesses that deliver critical, affordable goods and services to the world's poor, improving the lives of millions. Since its founding in 2001, Acumen Fund has invested more than $50 million in companies that provide access to water, health, energy, housing and agriculture inputs to low-income consumers in South Asia and East Africa.

More information on Gettysburg College's 2012 Commencement is available here.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Mon, 19 Dec 2011

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