100 books like Adventure Finance

By Aunnie Patton Power,

Here are 100 books that Adventure Finance fans have personally recommended if you like Adventure Finance. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World

Kusi Hornberger Author Of Scaling Impact: Finance and Investment for a Better World

From my list on investing for impact.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where I lead a lot of our finance and investment advisory work with development finance institutions, family offices, and impact investors. I also serve on several impact investment and field-building organization advisory boards and regularly contribute to the ecosystem through thought leadership and speaking engagements at leading conferences. Over the course of my 20+ year career, I have played the role of advisor, investor, and technical assistance provider on more than 200 individual projects across the globe.   

Kusi's book list on investing for impact

Kusi Hornberger Why did Kusi love this book?

I recommend this book for any leader seeking to better understand their ‘why’. I have long admired Jacqueline Novogratz and Acumen and while not her most famous book, this one really gets deep into the inside of what motivates Jacqueline and the work she does at Acumen.

As someone who considers themselves to be values-led, I deeply admire how Jacqueline doesn’t shy away from the ethics of financing social and impact enterprises and instead leans in to explain her thinking in this book and to challenge our collective moral imagination about what is right.

It is also filled with useful examples and interviews with changemakers across the globe, which helps bring her work and the concepts in the book to life. A must-read for anyone interested in impact-first investing. 

By Jacqueline Novogratz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Manifesto for a Moral Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"An instant classic." ―Arianna Huffington
"Will inspire people from across the political spectrum." ―Jonathan Haidt

Longlisted for the Porchlight Business Book of the Year Award, an essential shortlist of leadership ideas for everyone who wants to do good in this world, from Jacqueline Novogratz, author of the New York Times bestseller The Blue Sweater and founder and CEO of Acumen.

In 2001, when Jacqueline Novogratz founded Acumen, a global community of socially and environmentally responsible partners dedicated to changing the way the world tackles poverty, few had heard of impact investing―Acumen’s practice of “doing well by doing good.” Nineteen years…


Book cover of Viva the Entrepreneur: Founding, Scaling, and Raising Venture Capital in Latin America

Kusi Hornberger Author Of Scaling Impact: Finance and Investment for a Better World

From my list on investing for impact.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where I lead a lot of our finance and investment advisory work with development finance institutions, family offices, and impact investors. I also serve on several impact investment and field-building organization advisory boards and regularly contribute to the ecosystem through thought leadership and speaking engagements at leading conferences. Over the course of my 20+ year career, I have played the role of advisor, investor, and technical assistance provider on more than 200 individual projects across the globe.   

Kusi's book list on investing for impact

Kusi Hornberger Why did Kusi love this book?

This book is an excellent read for any entrepreneur who is looking for a firsthand account of the ups and downs of starting and growing a business in emerging markets.

I got to know Brian during my time living in Brazil and truly admire his story, as well as the candor and honesty that he brings to this book. Brian shares tons of funny and useful anecdotes, particularly as they relate to raising funding and negotiating with venture capital and private equity investors.

Filled with insight, this is a must-read for anyone starting a business or investing in startups that they hope to see scale and change the world. 

By Brian Requarth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Viva the Entrepreneur as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The entrepreneurial journey is lonely—especially if you’re looking to start a business in Latin America, where opportunities are ripe but resources are scarce. Brian Requarth is well acquainted with the challenges unique to this part of the world, having grown Viva Real from two people to over 500 employees, and tens of millions in dollars of revenue.

Now, Brian wants to help demystify the obstacles you’ll face, teach what you won’t learn in business school, and offer you inspiration and encouragement on your journey.

Viva the Entrepreneur shares the lessons Brian learned while building his company. He shows how to…


Book cover of Real Impact: The New Economics of Social Change

Kusi Hornberger Author Of Scaling Impact: Finance and Investment for a Better World

From my list on investing for impact.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where I lead a lot of our finance and investment advisory work with development finance institutions, family offices, and impact investors. I also serve on several impact investment and field-building organization advisory boards and regularly contribute to the ecosystem through thought leadership and speaking engagements at leading conferences. Over the course of my 20+ year career, I have played the role of advisor, investor, and technical assistance provider on more than 200 individual projects across the globe.   

Kusi's book list on investing for impact

Kusi Hornberger Why did Kusi love this book?

This is an inspiring read from a real changemaker.

Morgan is also someone I have had the pleasure of getting to know through the impact investing conference circuit, and I enjoyed reading her firsthand account of how she combined her social activist desires with the practical tools of finance and investment to create ‘real impact.’

One of my favorite sections of the book was on her early days and successes with shareholder activism. This book and her story are ones that many impact-minded leaders can learn from. 

By Morgan Simon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Real Impact as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Impact investment, the support of social and environmental projects with a financial return, has become a hot topic in the world's philanthropy and development circles, and is growing exponentially: in the next decade, it is poised to eclipse traditional aid by ten times. Yet for all the excitement, there is work to do to ensure it actually realizes its potential. Will impact investment empower millions of people worldwide, or will it just replicate the same failures that have plagued the aid and antipoverty industry?

Enter Morgan Simon. When she was a twenty-year-old college student at Swarthmore, Simon compelled Lockheed Martin…


Book cover of Crazy Is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags

Kusi Hornberger Author Of Scaling Impact: Finance and Investment for a Better World

From my list on investing for impact.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where I lead a lot of our finance and investment advisory work with development finance institutions, family offices, and impact investors. I also serve on several impact investment and field-building organization advisory boards and regularly contribute to the ecosystem through thought leadership and speaking engagements at leading conferences. Over the course of my 20+ year career, I have played the role of advisor, investor, and technical assistance provider on more than 200 individual projects across the globe.   

Kusi's book list on investing for impact

Kusi Hornberger Why did Kusi love this book?

I love the title of this book–it is thought-provoking in the right kind of way.

The book, which is more about Linda’s story of founding and building Endeavor, a community of entrepreneurs in emerging markets, and less about finance, is on my list because of the lessons it offers about what it takes to be successful in doing something difficult.

In the book, Linda encourages readers to embrace risk and unconventional thinking to achieve success. Not to be afraid if others think what you are doing doesn’t make sense if you believe in your purpose, have a strong network of support, and are willing to adapt and learn along the way. It's a great read for any impact finance leader. 

By Linda Rottenberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crazy Is a Compliment as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Some books on entrepreneurship are of little practical use. Rottenberg's new book is different. Sober, convincing and offers the best ways to build new business ventures' Financial Times

'Linda has tapped into something important - that we all need to be more entrepreneurial these days. With her impressive track record and inspiring story, she shows us all how to overcome our fears and take smart, achievable steps to improve our organisations' Sheryl Sandberg

'Buy it. Read it. Live it' Seth Godin

These days everybody needs to think and act like an entrepreneur. We all need to be nimble, adaptive, daring…


Book cover of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist

Paul A. Swegle Author Of Startup Law and Fundraising for Entrepreneurs and Startup Advisors

From my list on startup success from someone with startup wins.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked with startups since 2000, when I joined ShareBuilder, ultimately sold to Capital One in a $9.5 billion deal – one of my five successful startup exits to date. I am currently an officer of seven startups. Startups drive global job creation and problem-solving innovation. But 90% fail, often for preventable reasons. I am helping entrepreneurs beat those odds. I wrote Startup Law and Fundraising to help entrepreneurs build on a solid foundation, avoid common legal and regulatory mistakes, and fund their vision. My books are used globally in law and MBA schools, and I speak constantly on entrepreneurship-related topics, including recently to groups in Istanbul, Ramallah, and Tehran. 

Paul's book list on startup success from someone with startup wins

Paul A. Swegle Why did Paul love this book?

Anyone who might ever be involved in raising funds for a startup should read Feld and Mendelson’s famous book, Venture Deals. This includes entrepreneurs, CFOs, legal and financial advisors, board members, and investors. The authors have long been pivotal players in Boulder, Colorado’s vibrant startup ecosystem. Their many engaging and illuminating talks to entrepreneurship classes and groups can be found on YouTube. Venture Deals is the best book out there for learning VC fundraising fundamentals – the players, terminology, processes, strategies, etiquette, deal documentation, best practices, and the implications of taking VC money. According to a study by CB Insights, “Running out of Money” is the second most common reason for startup failure. Venture Deals can help startups and startup advisors increase their odds for fundraising success by providing insiders’ insights for winning strategies. 

By Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Venture Deals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Help take your startup to the next step with the new and revised edition of the popular book on the VC deal process-from the co-founders of the Foundry Group

How do venture capital deals come together? This is one of the most frequent questions asked by each generation of new entrepreneurs. Surprisingly, there is little reliable information on the subject. No one understands this better than Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson. The founders and driving force behind the Foundry Group-a venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage information technology companies-Brad and Jason have been involved in hundreds of venture…


Book cover of Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed--and What to Do about It

Cyril Demaria Author Of Introduction to Private Equity, Debt and Real Assets: From Venture Capital to LBO, Senior to Distressed Debt, Immaterial to Fixed Assets

From my list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes.

Why am I passionate about this?

The financing of private firms is fascinating and a bit mysterious. It remains misunderstood and regularly gives birth to hype and excesses. I started my career working for a venture capital fund at the top of the Internet financial bubble, in 2000. This experience has imprinted my career and derailed my ambitions. It also fueled my thirst for knowledge. I started from essentially a virgin theoretical and academic land. I developed a body of practical and academic knowledge. Writing and publishing my books seemed to be the next logical step. I enjoy reading books on the sector and recommending them.

Cyril's book list on private equity in practice and peek behind the scenes

Cyril Demaria Why did Cyril love this book?

There is only one Silicon Valley – and there can only be one.

Harvard Professor Josh Lerner debunks enduring myths about replicating the success of this unique cluster dedicated to information technologies. He describes the different unsuccessful attempts of doing so by various public authorities and governments, and draws the lessons of such attempts.

He also identifies what are the conditions of successful local attempts to develop industrial clusters. In this context, this book provides a solid background to readers eager to understand the background of the emergence and development of private companies thanks to a complex web of interactions between public and private initiatives.

By Josh Lerner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Boulevard of Broken Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Silicon Valley, Singapore, and Tel Aviv - the global hubs of entrepreneurial activity all bear the marks of government investment. Yet, for every public intervention that spurs entrepreneurial activity, there are many failed efforts that waste untold billions in taxpayer dollars. When has governmental sponsorship succeeded in boosting growth, and when has it fallen terribly short? Should the government be involved in such undertakings at all? "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is the first extensive look at the ways governments have supported entrepreneurs and venture capitalists across decades and continents. Josh Lerner, one of the foremost experts in the field, provides…


Book cover of Beautiful Player

Skye McDonald Author Of The Not So Nice Girl

From my list on making you laugh, cry, and swoon.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a woman. Laughing, crying, and swooning are all things I know intimately—sometimes heart-achingly. I’m living my life with my heart open, learning to be unashamedly me. That means I love, sometimes recklessly. That meant I hurt, sometimes more than anyone could know. And that means I swoon, not only for romance but also for the beauty of this “wild and precious life.” My recommended novels take you through all the feels. My own novels use my roots in Nashville, TN. Family and music are key. But more than that, my books are about learning to love yourself. I’ve learned personally that that’s the true happily ever after.

Skye's book list on making you laugh, cry, and swoon

Skye McDonald Why did Skye love this book?

Beautiful Player is my go-to steamy, fun reread. I love Will and Hanna’s quick-witted love story. I love that Hanna is a brilliant chemistry grad student. I love that part of the narrative is her opening up to her sensuality, not being afraid of it. And I love sexy Will and how hard he falls for his protégé!

Christina Lauren was my gateway into romance. While I have read all of their Beautiful Series, this one stands out as my favorite. Intelligent, driven main characters who go running together? Plenty of steam? A woman owning her value as a scientist and lover? Yes, yes, yes please!

By Christina Lauren,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Beautiful Player as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Hanna "Ziggy" Bergstrom moves to New York City for graduate school, Will Sumner thinks his responsibilities to his best friend's nerdy little sister will be limited to the occasional dinner and check-in. Little does he know that Ziggy is ready to break out of her bookworm academic shell and move more into bombshell territory. Of course she figures the gorgeous womanizing venture capitalist Will is the best person to help mentor her in this new field of study: dating.

Will takes on the challenge with more than a healthy dose of scepticism and humour, but soon finds that Ziggy…


Book cover of VC: An American History

William H. Janeway Author Of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State

From my list on venture capital and the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

After receiving my doctorate in Economics at Cambridge University, I embarked on a 35-year sabbatical as a venture capitalist focused on information technology. I learned about the critical role that the American state had played by sponsoring the computer industry. When the "Dotcom Bubble" of the late 1990s grossly overpriced my companies, because I had written my PhD thesis on 1929-1931 when the Bubble of the Roaring Twenties exploded, I had seen the movie before and knew how it ended. I returned to Cambridge determined to tell this saga of innovation at the frontier and the strategic roles played by financial speculation and the state in funding economic transformation."

William's book list on venture capital and the economics of innovation

William H. Janeway Why did William love this book?

I value this book as a comprehensive history of high-risk investing in America, from the Whaling Industry to Silicon Valley. 

Nicholas reveals the extraordinary skew and persistence in investment returns: a small number of investors are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the gains, and this holds true across widely varying institutional structures and technological domains.

And he explores the intimate relationship between the rise of the IT and Biotech industries and support from the U.S, Government. 

By Tom Nicholas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked VC as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A major exploration of venture financing, from its origins in the whaling industry to Silicon Valley, that shows how venture capital created an epicenter for the development of high-tech innovation.

VC tells the riveting story of how the industry arose from the United States' long-running orientation toward entrepreneurship. Venture capital has been driven from the start by the pull of outsized returns through a skewed distribution of payoffs-a faith in low-probability but substantial financial rewards that rarely materialize. Whether the gamble is a whaling voyage setting sail from New Bedford or the newest startup in Silicon Valley, VC is not…


Book cover of Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World

William H. Janeway Author Of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State

From my list on venture capital and the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

After receiving my doctorate in Economics at Cambridge University, I embarked on a 35-year sabbatical as a venture capitalist focused on information technology. I learned about the critical role that the American state had played by sponsoring the computer industry. When the "Dotcom Bubble" of the late 1990s grossly overpriced my companies, because I had written my PhD thesis on 1929-1931 when the Bubble of the Roaring Twenties exploded, I had seen the movie before and knew how it ended. I returned to Cambridge determined to tell this saga of innovation at the frontier and the strategic roles played by financial speculation and the state in funding economic transformation."

William's book list on venture capital and the economics of innovation

William H. Janeway Why did William love this book?

The theoretical work of Aghion and his colleagues is complemented by Breznitz's empirical examination of how a disparate set of innovative economies actually function and of the alternative bases for the competitive achievements. 

I discovered Dan Breznitz's fieldwork on innovation first from his book on China, The Run of the Red Queenand then his comparative analysis of the different paths along which Israel, Taiwan, and Ireland moved from peasant levels of development to the technological frontier. He provides an essential complement to the more theoretical analysis of Aghion and his colleagues.

By Dan Breznitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Innovation in Real Places as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A challenge to prevailing ideas about innovation and a guide to identifying the best growth strategy for your community.

Across the world, cities and regions have wasted trillions of dollars on blindly copying the Silicon Valley model of growth creation. Since the early years of the information age, we've been told that economic growth derives from harnessing technological innovation. To do this, places must create good education systems, partner with local research universities, and attract innovative hi-tech firms. We have lived with this system for decades, and the result is clear: a small number of regions and cities at the…


Book cover of Ages of American Capitalism: A History of the United States

William H. Janeway Author Of Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State

From my list on venture capital and the economics of innovation.

Why am I passionate about this?

After receiving my doctorate in Economics at Cambridge University, I embarked on a 35-year sabbatical as a venture capitalist focused on information technology. I learned about the critical role that the American state had played by sponsoring the computer industry. When the "Dotcom Bubble" of the late 1990s grossly overpriced my companies, because I had written my PhD thesis on 1929-1931 when the Bubble of the Roaring Twenties exploded, I had seen the movie before and knew how it ended. I returned to Cambridge determined to tell this saga of innovation at the frontier and the strategic roles played by financial speculation and the state in funding economic transformation."

William's book list on venture capital and the economics of innovation

William H. Janeway Why did William love this book?

Jon Levy provides a hugely creative account of American history through the evolution of its distinctive institution, capitalism.

He relates the unstable dynamics of financial markets to the waves of investment in real capital incorporating innovative technologies and never loses sight of the tension between power accumulated and expressed in markets and the distribution of political power, always attentive to how the former can take over control of the latter.

Levy’s work has enriched my own understanding of this contested history.

By Jonathan Levy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ages of American Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A leading economic historian traces the evolution of American capitalism from the colonial era to the present—and argues that we’ve reached a turning point that will define the era ahead.

“A monumental achievement, sure to become a classic.”—Zachary D. Carter, author of The Price of Peace

In this ambitious single-volume history of the United States, economic historian Jonathan Levy reveals how capitalism in America has evolved through four distinct ages and how the country’s economic evolution is inseparable from the nature of American life itself. The Age of Commerce spans the colonial era through the outbreak of the Civil War,…


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