“The Blue Sweater” talks about a lifelong philanthropist named Jacqueline Novogratz and how she aided some of the world’s poverty-stricken populations with an economic plan.The book mentions how in 2001, Novogratz started a project for a nonprofit venture capital firm that aimed to reinvesting charitable funding that were focused on entrepreneurial endeavors. One of the projects associated with The Acumen Fund are, the development of clean water.Another project that was mentioned was, the irrigation systems in India and a bedding net manufacturer in Africa.
Novogratz’s motivation to change the world, started when she was young. She wrote about who assembles, who engages, and the insightful stories about her journey toward effective philanthropy. When traveling in Africa during her 20s, she saw a boy wearing a blue sweater made of wool that she had donated to Goodwill 11 years before traveling. She recognized the sweater because her name was still stitched to the tag.This is an example that our lives are connected, through small moments in time. Because of this connection, she was inspired in her efforts to help those who were less fortunate.
After Novogratz graduated from college, she went to work for the Chase Bank in Manhattan. She flew around the world to analyze the banks portfolios in places that suffered from troubled economies. Her employers did not share her belief, that having loans be given to the poor will actually be better, than to risk the bad commercial debts they were collecting.Which influenced her to moved to a Bangladeshi bank that was a pioneer in the field of microfinancing.
Later Novogratz won a Nobel Peace Prize. In the book Novogratz mentions, how she was not always received with open arms. Because in West Africa, a local woman explained her hostility as “The North comes to the South and sends a young white girl without asking us what we want, without seeing if we already have the skills we need.” Due to this encountered experience, Novogratz put together a group of Rwandan women and suggested the idea of microcredit by persuading them that it connected with their dreams of owning personal businesses. She personally witnessed the Rwandan genocide and the destruction caused to several of the businesses she had helped to establish.
Because of her persisted in her mission, to acquire valuable lessons about humanity and humility. “The Blue Sweater”, Novogratz takes the readers directly to the landscapes she travels by describing her experiences when she was 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.” This book is an empowering, heartfelt portrait of humanitarianism at work and all that can be done to end poverty.