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 :

In this episode of the Impact Podcast,  we travel to Canada and speak to Danielle Carruthers, who is the founder and CEO of “”. She is also working with Solene on building new resources and tools to engage social entrepreneurs.

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Meet Danielle Carruthers

Danielle is based out of Calgary, Alberta in Canada enjoying rocky mountains. She has done quite a bit of work in South America for, surveying global social entrepreneurs.  Danielle graduated in biology in high school, but she found her interest, in the entrepreneurial space, and switched programs through university.  She always applied her love for knowledge and learning, in the work she did. She was involved in school club called, Enactus. It is a community of student, academic and business leaders, committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and build a sustainable world. This was her crash course in social entrepreneurship.

Danielle always loved to facilitate things, teach people, as part of extracurricular activity in the university. She wanted to pick up topics that are not exciting & snazzy, but are very practical and important for life success. As a part of the program, she spoke about budgeting, credit cards, interest rates to a group of women who were earlier involved in sex trade.  She found that it helped them, to get their lives back on track, so she wanted to keep doing these activities which brings in impact or social good.

She worked in banking industry for a couple of years after graduation. But she always wanted to build an ecosystem for social entrepreneurs to collaborate, as there wasn’t a proper place for these like minded folks to share their passion. She used to reach them in pockets through blogs on the internet. She liked the fact that theSedge platform, helped to connect like minded social entrepreneurs from different backgrounds. But what started as a platform, eventually transformed itself into a space where it can help, educate ways about running a social enterprise business.

Danielle is currently running a workshop called “Idea Finder”, this helps people who are really interested in making a change in community through a new idea. It helps the participants to go through phases and set of activities which helps to validate if the idea is worth investing your time and feasible as well. It really helps social entrepreneurs to have a good shot at their goal.

Collaboration with Solène

Danielle collaborated with Solene,  founder of Creators for Good and like minded social entrepreneurship enabler. They both co-host quarterly calls for communities, arrange Q&A sessions with network members. Their first topic of discussion was ironically about collaboration itself, it was core value that they were drawn into. They were able to accomplish so much more than, they could do it alone. So they decided to write a book about “Meeting of the Minds, the Social Entrepreneur’s Roadmap for Collaborations That Work”. They have managed to do everything within a year of their collaboration.  They have also recently launched “Change Makers Association” which is  a membership learning platform for social entrepreneurs.

There is a “Global Social Entrepreneurs Lab” on facebook, where you can connect with Solene and Danielle about their work. There are close to 900 members. They also have website called, where they have hosted some of the past Q&A’s.

Danielle’s biggest advice for anyone who is starting a social enterprise is to start small, even though their dreams could be bigger.  This could potentially avoid a tripping point. And the other factor, is patience. To learn more about Danielle and her work, please visit the site in the show notes.

Show Notes

Global Social Entrepreneurs Lab
Meeting of the Minds: the Social Entrepreneur’s Roadmap to Collaborations that Work (The book)
Changemakers Association

In this episode of the Impact Podcast,  we travel to Brazil and talk to Nastassia Romano, who has worked on a number of projects related to social enterprise. In this podcast, we will get to hear about how her work and education has led to her current role in Yunus Social Business. We will also get to know her perspectives about social enterprise in Brazil.

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Meet Nastassia Romano

Nastassia is an economist, she did her graduation in Brazil. She has studied in the London School of Economics, where she specialized in international studies & environmental studies. While studying, she had an opportunity to go to Oxford in 2010, for a conference at the Saïd Business school. In that conference Nastassia was able hear about social enterprise like she never did before.

So after coming back to Brazil, Nastassia did some research and after talking to lot of people decided that, she had to first start working in a social impact. She eventually ended up working as project manager, in Brazil, to select and train non profit social organizations in business and management that creates an impact.

Social Impact in Brazil

Nastassia reveals that social enterprise or social impact, is a novel concept in Brazil when she started. She feels that with type of inequality issues in Brazil, there is a need to do something on your own rather than relying on government. But some of these already existing social enterprises in Brazil were lacking a business acumen, hence they were struggling to kick start. She feels that strategic management, is something that needs to be brought in to solve these issues.

Association with Yunus Social Business

While working with Social Institute, Nastassia did some research about social enterprise and developed contacts by talking to people. It is during this time, she found out that Yunus is coming to South Brazil for a conference. She wanted to work along with the Yunus foundation. She travelled São Paulo, to figure out what they were doing and to connect on how they can partner, to do projects. On one occasion she went to a social finance seminar, about impact investing and had the opportunity to talk to the CEO of Yunus through her connections.

Nastassia spoke with members from Yunus and explained that,  Yunus education strategies had a lot of synergy with what they are doing in South Brazil. She also explained that if they have to start anything, related to social enterprise education it should start from South Brazil, as people in Sao Paulo already has access to those. She has also invited Yunus to talk about their business models at higher education event. Eventually Nastassia, became a part of Yunus representing Parana state.

Nastassia feels that a social enterprise as company should focus on making profits, and thereby creating a social impact. The profit earned should go back to the enterprise, to strengthen the impact it is creating rather than producing dividends for the owners. With Yunus Social business, Nastassia is helping to organize workshops, speeches, academic events that create this new type of social impact mindset. In Brazil, private companies does not trust NGO as funding gets deviated hence Nastassia is working primarily on the mindset change across companies. YSB also runs an accelerator in Rio and Sao Paulo to help develop more social entrepreneurs by helping new businesses. YSB also does academic work related to social enterprise  with the universities. To learn more about YSB, please connect below.


Learn More

Website :


Twitter : @yunusns


In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder meets another exciting Podcastor Sonali Mangal. In this episode Neetal discusses, with Sonali about the podcasts that she is working on. Sonali also shares some details about her, and how she got involved in ” Learn Educate Discover ” podcast.

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Meet Sonali Mangal

Sonali Mangal is Podcastor of the series “Learn, Educate & Discover” podcast, which helps students and young professional to learn about various careers. She organizes her podcasts, into interview style podcasts with professionals from various backgrounds such as consulting, banking & product management. Sonali tries to understand from current professionals in a career, about their day to day challenges. She tries to dig deep into each areas, so that it helps people with aspirations about a particular career path.

Neetal also shares her passion about podcasting with Sonali, and they both were brainstorming about doing events together. Neetal managed to get some snapshots, of the upcoming podcasts with Sonali and you hear about exchanges between the fellow podcastor’s in this episode. Sonali was excited about the way, Neetal manages to get some of her podcasts in the form an informal conversations. She feels that, it makes the speaker to open up more casually, than formal process.

Neetal also did a podcast as a speaker for Learn, Educate & Discover, and shared her experiences in podcasting, career and her passion about creating social impact. Sonali always enjoy doing podcasts and the moment she receives a note from her listener, she feels great that it was meaningful to someone. She feels that is what, keeps her going.

Sonali shares her vision about Learn, Educate & Discover with Neetal. Her vision is to help people choose a career, they love, rather than pushing themselves to office on Monday’s.  She want to develop LED as a resource that help people choose right career path, by providing well informed insider views.  Sonali loves to receive feedbacks on her podcasts, and also on topics that would interested them.

Connect More at

Twitter : @LED_Curator

iTunes  : iTunes – Learn Educate Discover

Email :


In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder shares her experience live from an event called “StartingBloc unplugged”. This event is a reunion of the program that happened, in LA institute in early 2016. Neetal shares her experiences with the participants, who came from different part of the country.

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In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder meets Eileen Neely, Economist and Director of capital innovation at Living cities. In this episode Neetal discusses, with Eileen about social enterprise funding mechanisms like “Pay for Success”. We will also get learn about use cases, for this type of funding.

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Meet Eileen Neely

Eileen Neely is the director of capital innovation at Living Cities. Living Cities harness the collective power of 22 of the largest foundations and financial institutions. At living cities, they develop and scale opportunities for people with low income and also help improve the cities they live.  Eileen started her career as a housing economist,  doing interest rate forecasting  for the real estate industry. She also volunteered at the community development corporation for revitalizing the commercial corridor in D.C area.

Eileen entered into the field of impact investing while working at Fannie Mae, by making construction loans for catalytic housing development. This was a niche part of Fannie Mae. They also ventured into non low income credit investments to revitalize communities. They lend out loans to government entities, who were working to push their housing agendas.

When federal government took over Fannie Mae in 2008, Eileen reevaluated her career path. She found that working with public housing entities directly, would create a meaningful impact. So she started to work with Fresno housing authority during the recession to complete projects, using their own resources. After coming back to Washington D.C, after a cross country trip, Eileen started working at living cities. At Living cities, she took the experience gained at housing projects, and applied the same holistically across systems to improve the economic well being of people.

Pay for Success

Living cities found that they have done a lot for housing impact, and wanted the same to be applied to eliminate poverty. This lead to “Pay for Success”, which is a financial innovation that combines a performance based contract where the government pays if certain social outcomes are reached. This is called a social impact bond.

Social impact bond is really a working capital line of credit or a bridge financing that allows the service provider to provide services. It does not care about the mechanism, but loves any contract that pays for the outcome. The “Pay for Success” concept enables private sector to invest in human capital to eliminate poverty.

Roca Model – Pay for Success

Eileen explained about the first project implemented, by the “Pay for Success” strategy.  The state of Massachusetts wanted to reduce the rate of recidivism in the juvenile coming out of prison. There was a trend, where by 60% of these individuals, ending up in prison again within 5 years. Roca is a service provider , who has been working with this population for years, they have managed to reduce the rate of recidivism by 40% .  The state of Massachusetts wanted to sponsor this program only if it is an outcome based model. So there is a contract between the state and the service provider to pay only when certain outcomes are reached.

Roca loved to provide such a service, but it would cost 23 million to do the same. This is where private investors enters in, like GoldMan Sachs, Living Cities, Boston Foundation, New Profit, John & Arnold Foundation. They were willing to pay that upfront money for Roca. The last stakeholder in this investment, is to have third party evaluator to evaluate if Roko met the goals. In this case it is the urban institute, they will look the data and decide how much Roca will be paid. The Roca program runs the program for four years.

In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder explains about a new fellowship program called ” Global Good Fund ” and you will hear about details of the program. We are joining with Jose Fernandez in this episode, and we will hear more about the Global Good Fund.

Listen to the Jose Fernandez, from the Global Good Fund

Meet Jose Fernandez

Jose has a business background with an MBA degree from Spain. Jose has travelled to various countries for working in, banking, cosmetics industries.  He was working with consulate general of Spain in New York. In New York, he was introduced to social entrepreneurship and got connected with Global Good Fund. Jose was amazed at how social enterprises were able to bridge the gap between traditional non-profits and traditional businesses. He was also worried about the vulnerabilities of the traditional non-profits who were relying on funds and grants. Jose felt that non-profits also should have good revenue generating models. Once Jose was introduced social enterprise, he felt that he found the missing part of traditional business, which is social responsibility.

Neetal was asking Jose about connection between politics and social enterprise. Jose explained that when you start a political party, you mentality will be to help people. It is very similar to social enterprise, where they dive into a worthy cause and try to make an impact. In social enterprise you try to make connections, which helps to create synergy. But he felt the execution of social enterprise is vastly different from political system, and media plays a major role in politics.

Global Good Fund

Jose spoke about a currently open fellowship called Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Fellowship.  It is a fellowship that focuses on nurturing unemployed or underemployed people who are  older than 50 years or more in the united states. The fellowship program runs for 15 months and pair them with mentors and guide them with professional coaches to become a leader. The applicant can be of any nationality and should be fifty years and older.  There is global good fund summit is happening in April and the participants will get to meet their mentors.  The deadline for the fellowship application is 26th September 2016. Please refer to the “Apply” page of

Learn More

Website :

Twitter Handle : @GlobalGoodFund


In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder discusses about the business models for social enterprise. Neetal mentions about the percentage model, in various resources and in the website. One of the companies that has popularized this model is Salesforce. They have implemented the 1-1-1 model, where by 1 percent of their employee time, 1 percent of the product and 1 percent of the revenue goes to social impact or non-profit.

As you might be wondering how this can be implemented in your own enterprise, today’s guest Rahul Gupta explains how he has created and implemented the percentage model in his own social enterprise.

Listen to the Rahul Gupta,  Do-Gooder & Founder of Big Wheel Brigade

Meet Rahul Gupta

Rahul Gupta is the founder of Big Wheel Brigade, a web application development company. They also run a code school called “Omaha Code school”. Rahul started this company four and a half years ago, but the actual thought about social enterprise started an year before. He started his first company in 2004, and there were lot of ups and downs, but things started to switch after a conference called “Big Omaha”. In that conference, Rahul met with Scott Harrison of Charity water, who spoke about social enterprise. During that speech, Rahul realized that he is not doing enough for social benefit.

So Rahul started working with a new nonprofit called planet water, they work on water filtration systems for its web presence. But Rahul wanted to do something better, and he started “Big Wheel Brigade” with his cousin Sameer. But to make ends meet, Rahul was still doing consulting work. After eight months starting the business, Rahul had to move to San Francisco, as his wife found an opportunity there. The shift changed the complexion of their work, as their rent just quadrupled. So they ramped up their consulting work, and they were billing hours and hours.

BWB’s Business Model for Social Good

As Rahul started to get more busy with consulting work, they set out 10% of their revenue for social good. It was decided this way as there was no inherent way to do social good with their consulting work. The set out fund was used to support social good that they believed in. As their business grew, the funding grew as well.  Sameer also runs the Omaha code school, and they were able to train graduates and bring them on to Tech school.

Initially they were supporting social good, without a clear plan but starting this year they have a good plan. They spend 50% of the set out figure to support “Anti- Slavery” issues,  25% for diversity & tech inclusion and rest goes to miscellaneous. They also support organizations like “Transhack” and “Ultracomp” who supported under privileged communities.

BWB has also created a code school for underprivileged in North-Omaha, a poor part of Omaha. BWB conducts free two month code camp, for 12-14 kids in Omaha and provide them free laptops, transportation, classes from 8am to 3 pm inclusive of two meals.  They also help them to visit small and big businesses.  BWB uses some of their set out money from consulting work for running this school and rest of them is supported by local businesses.

Rahul wants to spread their social good through word of mouth and lead by example. He does’nt want to become a B-corp and using it as a marketing tool. They bring their social good inherently in to their consulting space, rather than pitching the same in a sales meeting with their clients. The impact in tech inclusion that BWB was able to create through Omaha code school is great. There are two ways BWB supports social impact 1. Setting out 10% of their revenue 2. Working increasingly with companies, that does social good.

Learn More

Website :

Twitter Handle : @hul

Email :

In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder shares her view, that any social enterprise journey has multiple phases or chapters, but somehow no two stories, end up to be the same. But  the key thing is to follow the purpose and believing in the solution for the problem. We are going to meet someone who embodies this thought in his social enterprise. In this episode, we will meet Gregor Ruthven.

Listen to the Gregor Ruthven

Meet Gregor – Social Entrepreneur Behind REACH, Text-Response App for Vital Services

Gregor came with this idea while working as an intern in college. He found that people who involved in civil cases found it really difficult to connect with social services. The services though they existed, people didn’t know how to connect with them or find the right one. Gregor found that, there should be a better way  to find and connect with social services.

So after Gregor, moved to SFO he met the Innov8social founder and pitched idea of texting service at the “Tech for Good” event. The idea is to built a text messaging service, that automatically connects to right social service in the area.

There was an existing service 211 provided by united way, it is like 911 but for non-emergency. It connects people to social services. This service can be accessed by any American. But the problem is that lot of people don’t even know, it existed. The second problem with that was, it was not only inefficient as it relies only on phone calls but there is no information saved. Not only it sent the people to wrong services, it has no capacity to store information as well.

Gregor Strategy

Gregor explained, that they had done a good amount of market research. He spoke to a couple of 211 operators at Atlanta and some others across the country. The 211 at Atlanta was excited about the text message service and the automation that comes along with it. Though there were potential buyers for the solution, the investors are not turned on with the idea, as the target market is small.

Gregor is more of a strategist and marketer, than a developer and having a team meant a lot of chaos for him. One of the initial founders of this project left in the middle. He found that having a few developers in the team meant a lot as it gave him the idea from cost perspective.

Gregor also understood the importance of coming with minimal version, of the tool rather than full version. He understood this, while giving his pitch at the Draper university, where he failed to connect with the audience as the pitch was complex. So they developed a simple dashboard with couple of screens for the operators to login. He also learnt how move forward in the face of failure, while developing this tool. He also felt that, the timing is an important factor for such ideas and having a good team means a lot.

Way to go

Gregor does these impact activities as a part time job, while working full time as a digital strategist for SVP worldwide. Gregor feels that having a full time job, really helps to keep the impact activities going even if there are delays in the project completion and helps to avoid financial crunches.

Gregor’s next big ask would be to figure out a way get jobs to the homeless people. You learn more about Gregor and his work from the below section. Gregor feels that timing is the key thing while implementing new ideas. He firmly believes nothing can happen over night and he strongly believes in partnerships.

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In this episode of the Impact Podcast, Innov8social founder shares her experience about co-hosting a workshop with founder of Impactpop. The interesting thing about the workshop is that, it actually happened in a Tipi. Neetal told that the participants had a exploratory conversations about social impact, and how each of their backgrounds, cultures influence their idea of social impact. The focus of the workshop was the intersection of art and social impact and it fit well with the theme of the event.

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ImpactPop Workshop

This episode we will get to listen from the participants, of the workshop and what they gained from the workshop.

Jessica is one of the participants, and she found about the event from one of the podcast episodes. It was exciting for her to meet like minded people, about art and social justice. She found that there is a lot of energy in this topics and the notion of redirecting, the funding from source to the need was really helpful.

Marisela is the founder of Impact Pop and is also one of the participants of this event. She found that event brought together people with like minds, and people who care about innovation and social enterprise. The workshop provides access to products that are designed to solve problems, and open up space for people to connect and talk about things that matter. It is also exciting, that this type of event happened in an unconventional way such sitting in a Tipi.

One of the other participants at the the event, was Sousuzakhi from Japan.  He is trying to meet with a lot of B-corps for his research, and he is from a venture capital background. He is interested in helping, community business in Japan. It was his first Tipi experience and he felt the interactions with fellow participants about social enterprise is an enriching experience. That was all from the Tipi workshop (ImpactPop) from SFO.

Please stay tuned for more impact podcasts during this fall.