People – March 25, 2009, Five Star review
As a starry-eyed twenty-something, Novogratz left international banking to help women in developing countries borrow small sums of money to start their own businesses. (Among her inspirations: a small-world moment when she saw an African boy wearing the very sweater she had given away years before.) From a bakery begun by unwed Rwandan mothers to telecomunications kiosks in India, the businesses she has worked with –and the nonprofit she founded, Acumen Fund– are helping to improve lives. An inspiring book by a remerkable woman.
— Caroline Leavitt
Business Week – February 25, 2009
…If you’re in the social entrepreneur space, you know [Jacqueline Novogratz] as a pioneer in giving people stuck in poverty the financial, economic and social tools to build their own way out. But Jacqueline is also an amazing writer and she has a brilliant book out, The Blue Sweater, that will make you cry as it makes you think… It is a tough, realistic, heartbreaking, truthful book about Jacqueline’s efforts and education in Africa as a social entrepreneur. Her own personal evolution is a much a part of the narrative as the work she attempts… a brave, honest book about one of the most important socio-economic movements of our day. And it is a beautiful window into one of the most creative and distinguished women of our time.
Financial Times – February 24, 2009
For any jobless finance executives contemplating a career move into the development world, Jacqueline Novogratz’s book, The Blue Sweater, should be required reading. For while Ms Novogratz has long demonstrated the potential of applying business ideas to development problems, her memoir provides sobering accounts of the shocks and frustrations likely to be encountered along the way… …The organisation is known for being a professional, well-oiled machine that has fostered businesses in everything from education to healthcare and renewable energy – and Ms Novogratz is acknowledged as its driving force. In this book, we discover how she got there… …And yet, in spite of the tragedy, the book is coloured by her irrepressible optimism, energy and sense of fun.
…Novogratz’s message is that those battling poverty must be “willing to build solutions from the perspectives of the poor themselves rather than imposing grand theories and plans upon them”.
Kirkus Starred review – January 15,2009
How a lifelong philanthropist aided some of the world’s poverty-stricken populations with a shrewd economic plan. …In 2001, the author founded a nonprofit venture-capital firm aimed at reinvesting charitable funding via focused entrepreneurial endeavors. … She’s aspired to change the world since she was young, writes Novogratz, who assembles engaging and insightful stories about her journey toward effective philanthropy.
…Novogratz transports readers directly to the landscapes she travels by describing with intimate urgency her experiences when immobilized by malaria, chased by muggers or inspired by a business owner’s success. “Humbled by the strength of individual women,” she continues to believe that “we can end poverty.”
…An empowering, heartfelt portrait of humanitarianism at work.