“Everyone talks about changing the world, but few people talk about changing themselves. Emzingo gives participants a new set of eyes to view the world, and over time wants to create a powerful network of leaders that look to make meaningful connections between business and society.” –Ramon

“Johannesburg is where overwhelming challenges meet extraordinary opportunities to create an unprecedented environment for change. From social change to personal growth, regardless of what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in South Africa with Emzingo. This experience is by far the most valuable part of my MBA.” – Khadija (fellow)

NexGen Fellowship, Emzingo – 2014 Awardee

Emzingo has created an applied learning model through its NexGen Fellowship program, by combining innovative leadership training with social impact consulting projects in emerging markets. Participants, who are graduate students from top business schools in the US and Europe, travel to South Africa or Peru to work on these consulting projects while developing themselves through personal reflection and leadership workshops. The program lasts eight weeks, with participants spending 40 hours per week co-creating solutions to organizational, operational, and strategic challenges our NGO, entrepreneur, and social enterprise partners face. Participants apply their skills and knowledge in a new, unique environment, but with limited resources. In parallel, participants attend 70+ hours of training and development focused on sustainability, global management, cultural awareness, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, innovation, and personal leadership. The learning is continuously reinforced through reflection and professional coaching. Participants refine their personal leadership style, enhance their business and entrepreneurial skills, identify new opportunities in growth markets, gain a deeper understanding of the social sector, and are equipped to be more responsible leaders. Students return to their respective schools more motivated and with a more worldly perspective; they are able to better manage multicultural, high performing teams; they increase their capability to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship; and they improve decision-making when faced with limited resources, uncertainty and ethical issues.


Since June 2010, Emzingo has run 10 NexGen Fellowship programs and managed over 60 projects. We’ve directly partnered with over 40 organizations in South Africa and Peru, while 128 students have participated on our program from 7 different graduate schools, both in North America and Europe.
We’ve provided over 1,500 learning, coaching, and mentoring hours to our participants, and in return, our participants have provided over 20,000 consulting hours to social entrepreneurs, enterprises, or non-profits. Over 50% of our projects have been designed to work with social enterprises or entrepreneurship training institutions. Topics which we have focused on include but are not limited to strategic planning, business plans, alumni engagement/recruitment, branding/marketing strategy, finance/legal, organization structure/process/capacity, fundraising/income/business development.

How can people become involved in or replicate your innovation?

Emzingo is actively seeking university and corporate partners to share its vision of redefining leadership and provide capacity building to our social enterprises and non-profits. We feel like we’re just getting started and look to expand our program offering in a significant way. We are set to host over 4,000 participants by 2016 and positively impact over 180 NGOs, non-profits, and social enterprises/entrepreneurs. Universities are a key partner to help support and design the program, while companies can act as sponsors that invest in the growth of our programs. Students are encouraged to apply to our programs directly on our website: www.emzingo.com.

Contact Information
Ramon Marmolejos, Co-Founder, Executive Director Emzingo Group: ramon(at)emzingo(dot)com
Twitter: _ramon78

Cordes Innovation Awards

In partnership with Cordes Foundation, Ashoka U seeks to recognize globally relevant teaching, learning, and partnership practices that may be adapted and replicated across the field.