Jacqueline Novogratz chronicles her journey from a young, ambitious banker working for Chase Manhattan Bank to an effective change-maker and social entrepreneur in the developing world in her autobiography. Her book details her time working in Africa, including the projects she joined and established, as well as the lessons she learnt from each.
Novogratz begins her book with "The Blue Sweater," the anecdote that inspired the title. Her Uncle gave her this particular blue sweater when she was a child in Virginia. She adored it so much that she put her name on the tag to guarantee it was hers forever. Unfortunately, when it came time to give the sweater away in high school, she donated it to Goodwill. This, however, would not be the last time she and the sweater would meet. Nearly ten years later, while running through the streets of Kigali, Rwanda's city, Novogratz came across a young kid wearing the identical sweater. Her name was even written on the tag!
It was at this point, in the face of seemingly insurmountable circumstances, that she realized how interconnected the globe truly is. Novogratz had taken an unexpected voyage, ending herself in Africa, just like her favorite blue sweater. Faced with the world's interconnectedness, which led to Jacqueline and this small kid from across the globe sharing the same blue sweater, Jacqueline felt compelled to learn what lies between poverty and luxury.
The Blue Sweater serves as a road map for both seasoned and aspiring global changers. Novogratz's journey through numerous mistakes and victories as she worked to bring economic opportunity to people in Kenya and Rwanda weaves together guideposts for generating social change. She portrays herself as a fish out of water, a white American entering a strange culture, economy, and professional setting with little context to begin with. Her account of her struggles to understand the nuances of her new community is both inspiring and painful at times.
Jacqueline Novogratz realized she needed a transformational shift in thinking to create effective programs that would provide economic opportunities to people who are often left out ofthe entrepreneurial sector, despite having little experience with the region's business community, a low proficiency in the local languages, and a lack of familiarity with regional and professional politics.
She encounters some pals who are now courageous survivors of the Rwandan genocide, as well as others accused of being aggressors, as she reconnects with old friends. She explains how disconcerting it is that not all inquiries have answers. Jacqueline Novogratz's social transformation trip takes us from a Nairobi slum to Pakistani government towers. She tells the story of her journey learning how to put her passion and desire to make a positive difference into action through anecdotes.
Finally, we are left with a story of unwavering devotion to economic fairness and motivation to consider global change. Novogratz's book on social entrepreneurship provides guidance to everyone who wants to leave the world a better place than they found it.