Testing the Waters: Short courses on Social Entrepreneurship in Sao Paulo, Brazil

July 11, 2015

Since we launched our Amani Institute hub in Sao Paulo, Brazil we have been testing the waters by running short courses on various professional skills in Sao Paulo and other cities, which have a thriving social change sector. Here is a little sneak peek into how these went. If you are interested in learning more about it, let us know!
Social Entrepreneurship is a field that has developed in a very dynamic and fast way, where business and social leaders build, grow and conduct ventures driven by great purpose. As the traditional definitions of non-profit enterprises, government and corporate initiatives are sometimes not very clear, Amani Institute held a course on Social Entrepreneurship in Practice in Sao Paulo in which participants were invited to deepen their understanding and explore the opportunities and challenges of this scenario in the best possible way.
The course was distributed across seven evenings with 24 participants at the Impact Hub São Paulo. As participant Barbara Maués confirmed “from here I am taking people to the rest of my life”. We learned how change agents have developed creative solutions to address social problems and explored the different sources of funding aimed at social enterprises, including philanthropy and self-sustaining projects with revenue generation. In line with Amani Institute’s adult education model, participants applied their learning hands-on and built groups to work on projects ranging from education, entrepreneurship, play, environmental education, disabled people to life after jail.
“Seven meetings that felt like three full weeks” said Maria Carolina Zemella, a chemical engineer who thanked Amani Institute for the opportunity to see that you can actually dedicate a life to a social purpose, something that seems unthinkable in the sector she comes from. During the course we had respected guest speakers who approached different topics and areas to explore in a social sector career. Cássio Aoqui from ponteAponte, David Hertz from Gastromotiva, Julio Lima from Teto Brasil and André Cervi from Atados, all of them Amani Institute’s friends and partners in Brazil. 
On the last day, the participants had to present their projects to a painel of experts like Andressa Trivelli, the coordinator from Social Good Brasil, Fábio Amado who is a consultant in design and innovation in the Escola São Paulo, Fabrício Soares, CEO of Petrotec Components and Camila Matos, an analyst from Eqom Partners and the BRiix Platform. They all pushed the participants to go to the next level with their projects.
“This course added a step to get closer to my dreams and my determination to actually make things happen” comented Patrícia Gaborrin in the last round of feedback about the experience. 
We are honored to contribute to and be part of such a great eco-system of organizations and individuals ready to create careers of meaning and impact in Brazil.
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