In this episode of the Impact Podcast,  Innov8social founder speaks to organizers at the Amani Institute including co-founder Roshan Paul and Communications & Community Director Geraldine Hepp. The Amani institute acts a bridge to bind the gap between higher education and employment marketplace. They help to prepare a new generation of leaders, to tackle the world’s toughest problems.

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Meet Roshan

Roshan was born and brought up in India, he moved to the US, for his undergraduate studies. He graduated in 2001, and it coincidentally met with the 9/11. Soon after his studies, Roshan landed in a consulting job with a big company in the US. But after looking at 9/11 attack and the Hindu- Muslim violence back in India, Roshan went back to India to become a social entrepreneur.  He travelled around the world, working with 300-400 social entrepreneurs. While working with them, Roshan understood that it was not funding, but rather finding right talent was a main problem for all these social entrepreneurs.

At the same time, Roshan found that a lot of students who were graduating wanted to work in a job that provides, social impact. But at the same time, the graduates were missing some required talent, hence were not landing in their dream job spots, and hence Amani was born.

Meet Geraldine

Geraldine joined Amani institute after working as an Intern in education sector. She did not want to join the development sector, as it was not in line with goals that she has set as a teenager. She wanted to join the education sector, and through one of her friends heard about Amani institute. Geraldine felt this option to be great, as it helps her to look at the social enterprise sector from a different perspective. Geraldine felt that through education, she would be able to change the problem that see saw with development sector. She feels that the sector needs the best minds to solve the problems of the 21st century.

Geraldine feels that just having good intentions and passion might not suffice,  but they should also be willing to second guess things. So Amani helps these professionals to fine tune their skills, so that they can fit into the social sector quite easily. She joined Amani in 2013 from Kenya.

Amani Institute – Activities

At Amani institute, Roshan and team has created a master equivalent program in Social Innovation Management. They launched their first class in Kenya. Currently Amani is running their fifth class in kenya and their second class in Brazil. The Amani institute is also approached by a lot institutes, social enterprises and companies, to come in and do customized programs for capacity planning. At Amani, they have also started to work with universities, to align their courses to the marketplace, and to arrange trainings for their faculties. Those are the three main streams that Amani is working on right now.

Amani has trained around 130 fellows, from around 35 countries mainly from Africa, Latin America and Europe.  What is common among them in their quest is to find meaning in their life and career. They want to create an impact. The common fellows of Amani are the people, who want to move from private sector to a social enterprise space. The second group are the ones, who come directly from the university and have interest in social sector. The teams at Amani are incredibly diverse, and have people from IKEA and Coca Cola  who are interested in social space.

Amani Institute – Certificate in Social Innovation Management

The main program for individuals is the “Certificate in Social innovation management”, it is an online course and it has an immersion phase in Nairobi or Sao Paulo for four months.

It starts with an online foundation month, where people connect online and discuss content based things about social innovation. As there is high diversity of fellows, there is a lot of talent that comes to the table. Geraldine feels that a lot more intrapreneurs needs to come up so that all the amazing ideas brought forward by social entrepreneurs can be taken to the next level.

After that the foundation month, the immersion program allows the fellows to join as an apprentice in any of their choice of social enterprise and learn things on the job. This forms one of the pillars of the immersion phase. The second pillar is to learn the skill required using a professional skill workshop, apart from the daily work. The third pillar is the leadership track, which is called the inner journey of the change maker.  This phase focuses on the inner qualities of the change maker.

After the immersion phase, the acceleration phase kicks in, and that spans for five months. During these five months the participants will get to focus on finding mentors, maintaining relationship with the mentor, building peer networks and skills that participants wants to hone . There are two intakes for these programs one is in February and the other in July.

Geraldine has a piece of advice for all aspiring social entrepreneurs and that is to do job that you love. She pulls out the three circles of hedgehog concept which is

1. “What are you passionate about or what give you joy ?”

2. “What is it that you can do the best ?”

3. “What drives the economic engine ?”

Geraldine wants to add a fourth circle “4. What does the world needs from you ?”

To Learn more about Amani institute and about their team, please visit below.

Show Notes

Website :

Twitter : @amaniinst

Facebook :

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