Sunday, 30 September 2012

Introducing TEDxEuston 2012 Speakers - Jacqueline Novogratz

At that seminal TEDGlobal in Arusha in 2007 – most of the speakers were Africans. But there were a few others – including Jacqueline Novogratz. She shared a powerful story of learning lessons of listening and patience from a group of entrepreneurial market women in pre-genocide Rwanda. This skill of listening and patience led Jacqueline to found the Acumen Fund; a ten-year-old social venture fund renowned for its patience; entrepreneurs have up to ten years to achieve financial sustainability. 
In a recent article, Forbes writes about Acumen
Instead of shoveling aid dollars to causes or governments that give away life-­sustaining goods and services, Acumen espouses investing money wisely in entrepreneurs in the developing world who strive to solve problems, from mosquito netting to bottled water to affordable housing. It’s a new twist on the old adage about teaching a man to fish, except that Novogratz wants to build an entire fish market.
Talk about challenging conventional wisdom! This is why we have invited her to TEDxEuston! there are a handful of tickets still available - details on the website.  


Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of poverty. Acumen Fund aims to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas. Under Jacqueline’s leadership, Acumen Fund has invested more than $75 million in 65 companies in South Asia and Africa, all focused on delivering affordable healthcare, water, housing and energy to the poor. These companies have created and supported more than 55,000 jobs, leveraged an additional $200 million, and brought basic services to tens of millions. In December 2011, Acumen Fund and Jacqueline were on the cover of Forbes magazine as part of their feature on social innovation. Prior to Acumen Fund, Jacqueline founded and directed The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership programs at the Rockefeller Foundation. Jacqueline currently sits on the advisory board of the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative, the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees, and the board of, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Social Innovation. She was also appointed by Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton to the Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. Her best-selling memoir The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World chronicles her quest to understand poverty and challenges readers to grant dignity to the poor and to rethink their engagement with the world. She has an MBA from Stanford and a BA in Economics/International Relations from the University of Virginia. She has received honorary doctorates from the University of Notre Dame and Wofford College, and the Freedom From Want Award from the Roosevelt Institute in 2011. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @jnovogratz

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Introducing TEDxEuston 2012 Speakers - Jason Njoku

Sometimes a business idea emerges that is so simple - you wonder why no one thought about it all this time. We can say this for many  internet businesses of our time; we cannot imagine live without Facebook, Twitter, etc. On most of the African continent - life would not be imaginable without Nollywood. Indeed, a lot has been written about the Nigerian movie industry affectionately called Nollywood. A lot has also been written about the large and ever growing African Disapora. Jason Njoku (Founder and CEO of Iroko Partners) brought these two together creating the largest digital distributorship of Nigerian music and movies while creating a reported monthly $1 million revenue ~ not bad eh. So at TEDxEuston we will hear from the man himself.....and maybe the next BIG idea will come from one of the 500 in the room on the day! Be one of the 500...half the tickets are gone! 

Jason Njoku , is a Nigerian internet entrepreneur, and is CEO and founder of Iroko partners, the largest distributor of Nigerian music and movies online. Jason studied at the University of Manchester and grew up in the UK. Most Nigerians enjoy watching Nollywood movies; however accessing these movies is not easy. Recognising the increased demand and the limited access to quality, legal movies online, Jason moved to Lagos to start Iroko Partners with the aim of bringing Nigerian entertainment online. The website was launched in December 2011, and by the end of the year had received 152 million views with 90% of them outside Africa. Within 18 months the company has grown with offices in Lagos, London and recently New York. While Jason plans for iROKOtv to be the Netflix of Africa, the new service, Iroking launched earlier this year, and aims to be the African “Spotify”. Jason’s vision was shared by US Based Hedge Fund Tiger Global as he has recently secured $ 8 million in funding from the firm. It is exciting times for Nollywood and Afrobeat music, with the Nollywood veteran Genevieve Nnaji cast in the film adaptation of the acclaimed novel Half of a Yellow Sun, and Dbanj joining Kanye West’s label GOOD Music. Jason’s product has arrived at the right time, and will unite African’s worldwide to enjoy African entertainment.