100 books like The Blue Sweater

By Jacqueline Novogratz,

Here are 100 books that The Blue Sweater fans have personally recommended if you like The Blue Sweater. 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 Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know

Alex Counts Author Of Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship

From my list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important.

Who am I?

Alex Counts founded Grameen Foundation and became its President and CEO in 1997. A Cornell University graduate, Counts’s commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Since its modest beginnings, Grameen Foundation has grown to become a leading international humanitarian organization. Today he is an independent consultant to mission-driven organizations, a prolific writer, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland who loves to teach nonprofit leadership and related subjects. 

Alex's book list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important

Alex Counts Why did Alex love this book?

This short book hits the nail on the head over and over about what social entrepreneurship is, what it isn’t, why it matters, and how it differs from other approaches to causing social change.  I have given it to countless people over the years, especially those seeking their own place in the “do good” ecosystem.  On virtually every page, I found multiple insights about the realities of leading social change that I found not only true but also extremely helpful to me as I reflected on my own journey and its highs and lows as well as its more mundane elements and its many absurdities.

By Susan Page Davis, David Bornstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In development circles, there is now widespread consensus that social entrepreneurs represent a far better mechanism to respond to needs than we have ever had before-a decentralized and emergent force that remains our best hope for solutions that can keep pace with our problems and create a more peaceful world.
David Bornstein's previous book on social entrepreneurship, How to Change the World, was hailed by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times as "a bible in the field" and published in more than twenty countries. Now, Bornstein shifts the focus from the profiles of successful social innovators in that book-and…


Book cover of Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs

Alex Counts Author Of Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship

From my list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important.

Who am I?

Alex Counts founded Grameen Foundation and became its President and CEO in 1997. A Cornell University graduate, Counts’s commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Since its modest beginnings, Grameen Foundation has grown to become a leading international humanitarian organization. Today he is an independent consultant to mission-driven organizations, a prolific writer, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland who loves to teach nonprofit leadership and related subjects. 

Alex's book list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important

Alex Counts Why did Alex love this book?

I love all four of this Nobel Peace Prize laureates' books, including his first (Banker to the Poor) that I helped edit, but this one is the best of them all.  He describes his vision of a new economy that is driven by social businesses – companies that are created to drive social change, through a business strategy.  By the time this book came out, he had multiple successful examples of this new hybrid model to describe to the reader – and he does so in a succinct and highly compelling way.  Importantly, he explains how his model is distinct from not only traditional nonprofits but also from social enterprises funded by impact investors. 

By Muhammad Yunus, Karl Weber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Muhammad Yunus, the practical visionary who pioneered microcredit and, with his Grameen Bank, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, has developed a new dimension for capitalism which he calls "social business." The social business model has been adopted by corporations, entrepreneurs, and social activists across the globe. Its goal is to create self-supporting, viable commercial enterprises that generate economic growth as they produce goods and services to fulfill human needs. In Building Social Business , Yunus shows how social business can be put into practice and explains why it holds the potential to redeem the failed promise of free-market enterprise.


Book cover of The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook: How to Start, Build, and Run a Business That Improves the World

Alex Counts Author Of Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship

From my list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important.

Who am I?

Alex Counts founded Grameen Foundation and became its President and CEO in 1997. A Cornell University graduate, Counts’s commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Since its modest beginnings, Grameen Foundation has grown to become a leading international humanitarian organization. Today he is an independent consultant to mission-driven organizations, a prolific writer, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland who loves to teach nonprofit leadership and related subjects. 

Alex's book list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important

Alex Counts Why did Alex love this book?

This guidebook in the form of a memoir, or memoir in the form of a guidebook, is both highly entertaining and profoundly useful.  Through brutally honest stories from his years leading FINCA, the global microfinance network, Scofield shows how social change happens: one mistake, one insight, and one breakthrough at a time.  By laying them out so clearly and in such a reader-friendly format, he has provided a valuable gift to a new generation of changemakers.

By Rupert Scofield,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The reader gains an insightful view of the author's personal journey and the processes involved when setting up a social enterprise. Its distinctive style makes it useful for readers who are looking for a thorough account of setting up a not-for-profit organisation or social enterprise" Phoenix, Jan 2012


Book cover of Reclaiming Our Democracy: Healing the break between people and government.

Alex Counts Author Of Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship

From my list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important.

Who am I?

Alex Counts founded Grameen Foundation and became its President and CEO in 1997. A Cornell University graduate, Counts’s commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Since its modest beginnings, Grameen Foundation has grown to become a leading international humanitarian organization. Today he is an independent consultant to mission-driven organizations, a prolific writer, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland who loves to teach nonprofit leadership and related subjects. 

Alex's book list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important

Alex Counts Why did Alex love this book?

Daley-Harris chronicles his experience founding and leading RESULTS, a scrappy and highly effective anti-poverty advocacy organization, and later his work to embed his insights into other organizations working on other crucial issues such as climate change.  His stories of citizens studying issues and then acting in concert with others to drive desperately-needed policy changes and divert hundreds of millions of dollars to effective programs are instructive as well as inspirational.  In this edition, he helpfully breaks down his tactics for spurring unprecedented and highly successful citizen advocacy into bite-sized steps that any organization can adapt.

By Sam Daley-Harris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Most people see working to end global poverty and ensure a stable climate as a fool s errand. Add to that the Citizens United decision and the flood of money rushing into politics and the despair grows deeper. But activist and author Sam Daley-Harris has helped thousands of ordinary citizens transform from hopeless bystanders to powerful advocates.

This 20th anniversary edition has a new chapter on the groundbreaking work of Citizens Climate Lobby, an increasingly powerful new advocacy group following the RESULTS model, and another new chapter on the Center for Citizen Empowerment and Transformation, a new initiative focused on…


Book cover of The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change

Dale Hanson Bourke Author Of Strong Girls, Strong World: A Practical Guide to Helping Them Soar--and Creating a Better Future for Us All

From my list on helping you make the world a better place.

Who am I?

When I lost a baby late in my pregnancy, I was overwhelmed by grief. And then I learned that tens of thousands of babies died every day from preventable causes. I couldn’t save my own baby, but I wanted to know how to help others. I joined the board of World Vision and then other groups, including Opportunity International, MAP International, and International Justice Mission. I took numerous trips to developing countries and eventually headed a foundation dedicated to maternal health. I listened to the stories of women and tried to tell them to the world through a variety of international publications. I'm forever grateful to those who changed the way I see the world.

Dale's book list on helping you make the world a better place

Dale Hanson Bourke Why did Dale love this book?

When Adam Braun asked a young boy begging on the streets of India what he wanted most in the world, he said, “A pencil.”

That simple request changed the path of the author from a career on Wall Street to a grassroots effort to build schools in some of the poorest places on earth. This very practical and inspirational book shows how anyone can help change the world. It’s especially good for young people who want to find meaning in their careers.

By Adam Braun,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Promise of a Pencil as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling as a college student, he met a young boy begging on the streets of India who would change his life. When Braun asked the boy what he wanted most in the world, he simply answered, "a pencil."

This small request became the inspiration for the organisation Braun would one day start, taking him on a journey through more than fifty countries and into the heart of self-discovery. His unique "for-purpose" approach reversed…


Book cover of A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity

Dale Hanson Bourke Author Of Strong Girls, Strong World: A Practical Guide to Helping Them Soar--and Creating a Better Future for Us All

From my list on helping you make the world a better place.

Who am I?

When I lost a baby late in my pregnancy, I was overwhelmed by grief. And then I learned that tens of thousands of babies died every day from preventable causes. I couldn’t save my own baby, but I wanted to know how to help others. I joined the board of World Vision and then other groups, including Opportunity International, MAP International, and International Justice Mission. I took numerous trips to developing countries and eventually headed a foundation dedicated to maternal health. I listened to the stories of women and tried to tell them to the world through a variety of international publications. I'm forever grateful to those who changed the way I see the world.

Dale's book list on helping you make the world a better place

Dale Hanson Bourke Why did Dale love this book?

The award-winning journalists team tells dozens of inspiring stories of individuals who have created organizations, implemented simple solutions, stopped destruction, and made a difference through often simple interventions.

The stories are inspiring but so are the very practical descriptions of what you can do and the organizations offering resources. I keep this book on my shelf as a regular resource.

By Nicholas Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An exploration of how altruism affects us, what are the markers for success, and how to avoid the pitfalls—with scrupulous research and on-the-ground reporting from the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists and bestselling authors of Half a Sky and Tightrope

Kristof and WuDunn will inspire you to "change lives for the better, including your own (The New York Times Book Review). 

In their recounting of astonishing stories from the front lines of social progress, we see the compelling, inspiring truth of how real people have changed the world, underscoring that one person can make a difference.
 
A Path Appears offers practical, results-driven…


Book cover of Impact: A Step-by-Step Plan to Create the World You Want to Live In

Dale Hanson Bourke Author Of Strong Girls, Strong World: A Practical Guide to Helping Them Soar--and Creating a Better Future for Us All

From my list on helping you make the world a better place.

Who am I?

When I lost a baby late in my pregnancy, I was overwhelmed by grief. And then I learned that tens of thousands of babies died every day from preventable causes. I couldn’t save my own baby, but I wanted to know how to help others. I joined the board of World Vision and then other groups, including Opportunity International, MAP International, and International Justice Mission. I took numerous trips to developing countries and eventually headed a foundation dedicated to maternal health. I listened to the stories of women and tried to tell them to the world through a variety of international publications. I'm forever grateful to those who changed the way I see the world.

Dale's book list on helping you make the world a better place

Dale Hanson Bourke Why did Dale love this book?

Whenever anyone tells me they want to change the world but don’t know where to start, I recommend this book.

It’s a step-by-step plan to help find your calling and then focus on the difference you want to make. With very helpful questions and guided exercises, it helps you understand the essentials of your goal and then create a truly actionable plan for moving forward.

The authors include their own experiences and offer very helpful cautions as well.

By Christen Brandt, Tammy Tibbetts,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When you feel that pull to be part of social change, where do you start? How can you ensure that your good intentions create a positive impact? How do you focus your scattered efforts? And how do you sustain yourself throughout?

Impact brings you the answers. Drawing on their network and experience as founders of She's the First, Christen Brandt and Tammy Tibbetts show you how to create your own impact strategy, one that fits into your life and allows you to match what you have with what the world needs.

Their guidance, paired with interactive activities, will lead you…


Book cover of Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade--and How We Can Fight It

Dale Hanson Bourke Author Of Strong Girls, Strong World: A Practical Guide to Helping Them Soar--and Creating a Better Future for Us All

From my list on helping you make the world a better place.

Who am I?

When I lost a baby late in my pregnancy, I was overwhelmed by grief. And then I learned that tens of thousands of babies died every day from preventable causes. I couldn’t save my own baby, but I wanted to know how to help others. I joined the board of World Vision and then other groups, including Opportunity International, MAP International, and International Justice Mission. I took numerous trips to developing countries and eventually headed a foundation dedicated to maternal health. I listened to the stories of women and tried to tell them to the world through a variety of international publications. I'm forever grateful to those who changed the way I see the world.

Dale's book list on helping you make the world a better place

Dale Hanson Bourke Why did Dale love this book?

Human trafficking is a difficult subject to write about, yet the author makes the topic approachable and manages to offer both inspiration and hope in this book about the heroes fighting trafficking at the grassroots.

Whenever someone tells me it would be “too upsetting” to learn about trafficking, I urge them to read this book.

By David Batstone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not for Sale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Award-winning journalist David Batstone reveals the story of a new generation of 21st century abolitionists and their heroic campaign to put an end to human bondage. In his accessible and inspiring book "Not for Sale", Batstone carefully weaves the narratives of activists and those in bondage in a way that not only raises awareness of the modern-day slave trade, but also serves as a call to action. 2007 brought the 200th anniversary of the climax of the 19th century abolitionist movement, and inspired the world to pay tribute to great visionary figures such as William Wilberforce of the United Kingdom…


Book cover of Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty

Lodewijk Smets Author Of Retooling Development Aid in the 21st Century: The Importance of Budget Support

From my list on economic growth and international development.

Who am I?

As Nobel prize-winning economist Robert Lucas put it, "Once you start thinking about economic growth, it's hard to think about anything else." That's why I am eager to share the best books on economic development with you! I am a Senior Economist at the World Bank, the world's premier development institution. Over the years, I have developed a deep interest in what makes countries prosper, have published extensively on the topic in academic journals, and earned a PhD in Economics along the way. As a development practitioner, I have been supporting sustainable growth across the globe, with working experience in the Caribbean, Africa, and the Pacific. 

Lodewijk's book list on economic growth and international development

Lodewijk Smets Why did Lodewijk love this book?

The book, written in a very accessible manner, helps to understand the constraints the poor face and how they make decisions on matters such as education, healthcare, savings, entrepreneurship, and a variety of other issues.

Duflo and Banerjee, recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economics, advocate for the use of randomized controlled trials and, most importantly, to actually listen to what the poor have to say.

The book won the 2011 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award. To me, it was an eye-opener and a refreshing way to rethink poverty reduction.

By Abhijit V. Banerjee, Esther Duflo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why do the poor borrow to save? Why do they miss out on free life-saving immunizations, but pay for unnecessary drugs? In Poor Economics , Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, two practical visionaries working toward ending world poverty, answer these questions from the ground. In a book the Wall Street Journal called marvellous, rewarding," the authors tell how the stress of living on less than 99 cents per day encourages the poor to make questionable decisions that feed,not fight,poverty. The result is a radical rethinking of the economics of poverty that offers a ringside view of the lives of…


Book cover of Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa

Bann Seng Tan Author Of International Aid and Democracy Promotion: Liberalization at the Margins

From my list on using foreign aid to do good in a realistic way.

Who am I?

Bann Seng Tan is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Ashoka University. His research interests are on the causes and effects of democratization, the politics of foreign aid, the political economy of natural disasters, aid in decentralization, resurgent authoritarianism, and the democratic peace. His policy proclivities revolve around the defence of the liberal world order. Democracy promotion is but one way to push against authoritarianism. 

Bann's book list on using foreign aid to do good in a realistic way

Bann Seng Tan Why did Bann love this book?

Development aid is a type of foreign aid that is directed at the economic development of recipient countries. The failures of government-to-government development aid in Africa are Moyo’s focus. She notes that Africa is the only region that is regressing in major socio-economic indicators. She argues such aid distorts African economies, enables corruption, and incubates a culture of aid dependency. African governments can afford not to provide public goods because their revenue is guaranteed by development aid. To remedy such externalities, Moyo wants to end development aid to Africa. Instead of aid, she prefers free trade with the West and foreign investment from China. This book is remarkable for its willingness to challenge the conventions in development aid. Sometimes, we need to call a spade a spade. 

By Dambisa Moyo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the past fifty years, more than $1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. Has this assistance improved the lives of Africans? No. In fact, across the continent, the recipients of this aid are not better off as a result of it, but worse—much worse.

In Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo describes the state of postwar development policy in Africa today and unflinchingly confronts one of the greatest myths of our time: that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has helped to reduce poverty and increase growth. In…


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