Jacqueline Novogratz, the CEO of Acumen, which takes “a businesslike approach to improving the lives of the poor.” In this TED talk from 2007, Novogratz tells a story of why she started the Acumen Fund and says traditional charity and aid alone are never going to solve the problems of poverty”:
…Markets alone also are not going to solve the problems of poverty. Yes, we ran this as a business, but someone needed to pay the philanthropic support that came into the training, and the management support, the strategic advice and, maybe most important of all, the access to new contacts, networks and new markets. And so, on a micro level, there’s a real role for this combination of investment and philanthropy.
Later in the talk, Novogratz tells another story of how a Tanzanian mosquito-net manufacturer used a combination of market research, “patient capital” and grant funding to strengthen their enterprise and save public-sector money through market-based efficiencies.