Legatum Centre, Mastercard Foundation launch fellowship for African entrepreneurs

The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT has launched the Foundry Fellowship, a leadership programme for accomplished entrepreneurs who are considering their role in shaping the future of the African innovation ecosystems in which they work and live.

The fellowship is open to entrepreneurs working and living in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda.

The programme includes an interactive online curriculum followed by a three-week immersive session that brings the cohort together to explore innovation-driven ecosystems.

A statement from the centre said the fellowship presents a unique opportunity to bring MIT resources and knowledge to these critical innovation ecosystems and, importantly, also offers MIT an opportunity to learn from successful leaders and their innovative solutions.

Professor Fiona Murray, Faculty Director of the Legatum Center, described this opportunity to expand MIT’s innovation network as a moment for the fellows to reflect on [their entrepreneurial] journey that also allows the institute to learn from them.

A Collaboration between the Legatum Center and The Mastercard Foundation

Through this collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, the foundry fellowship will deepen the impact of leaders who are solving complex problems, creating jobs, and bringing essential services to millions through innovation-driven business models.

With the world’s fastest growing youth population, Africa is home to 4 of the world’s top 5 fastest-growing economies, has the fastest urbanization rate in the world, and has a rapidly expanding middle class predicted to increase business and consumer spending.

Innovation and entrepreneurial solutions are a critical component to continued growth and prosperous people and societies across the continent. Africa’s entrepreneurs are building businesses that offer lessons in inclusion, sustainability, and value creation that extend far beyond the continent.

As a global network of entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders, the Legatum Center’s foundry offers a platform for leaders to share their stories and consider new ways to extend their impact in their local ecosystems and around the world.

Dina Sherif, Executive Director of the Legatum Center said: "To propel Africa forward and remain competitive globally, we need innovation-led entrepreneurship and robust African entrepreneurial ecosystems. The Foundry Fellowship supports African entrepreneurs to transition to entrepreneurial leaders who work with various stakeholders to strengthen and improve their ecosystems."

The foundry fellowship is a competitive program for outstanding entrepreneurial leaders working in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda.

The Legatum Center will accept nominations from May 3 – May 20, 2021. A nomination is not required to apply; entrepreneurs are invited to submit an application directly.

All nominees and applicants must submit a completed application by 11:59 PM EDT on June 10, 2021 to be considered for the program.

Nomination and application information is available at legatum.mit.edu/foundry-fellowship/.

An initial cohort of 15 Fellows will be selected for this fully-funded program.

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