Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship

The Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship gives you the confidence, resources, knowledge, network, and financial support to build a startup with an impact. The fellowship is for African students and recent grads with a desire to solve pressing problems and bring entrepreneurial ideas to life.

About Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship

The program has a proven winning formula which combines students and recent grads (with a willingness to learn, take risks, and commit themselves fully) with best-in-class entrepreneurship training from the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC).

The result is the birth of leaders with the exceptional entrepreneurial skillset and mindset to drive social and financial impact.

What You Will Get From The Fellowship

1. Best-in-class Training:

  • Business bootcamp delivered by Queen’s University faculty and industry leaders who bring decades of combined entrepreneurship and C-Suite experience
  • The Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework, a proven step-by-step framework for scalable startups developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Pitch coaching and mastery
  • Certificate awarded for 100% completion of DDQIC’s essential entrepreneurship training modules

2. Global Visibility and Network:

  • Liaise with mentors and speakers leading innovation and entrepreneurship in North America
  • Access a Global Network of Queen’s entrepreneurial alumni
  • Join a cohort of thousands of like-minded students and recent grads from across Africa

3. Mentorship:

  • Fellows are matched to industry leaders and entrepreneurs in the final phase of the program
  • Receive feedback at important startup milestones

4. Financial Support:

  • 15 Fellows will receive a stipend of $500 CAD
  • Opportunities to pitch for funding in Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre seed funding competitions

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Program Timeline

Phase 1: Explore – December 2020-February 2021

1000 exceptional candidates receive access to a curated list of online entrepreneurship courses and work through the first 11 steps of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework workbook. Candidates have several months to demonstrate their commitment to the entrepreneurial process by completing the training and progressing on their ideas’ respective milestones.

Phase 2: Ignite – February-April 2021

30 finalists with an outstanding commitment to the entrepreneurship process, who will have excelled at the milestones set out in phase one will be selected to join this phase. Under this phase, they will continue to go through an additional curated list of additional online entrepreneurship courses and work through the remaining steps of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework’s workbook. At the end of this phase, the participants will pitch their ideas, competing for the fellowship, and the most advanced and promising business ideas will become the finalists who receive the fellowship.

Phase 3: Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship – April-August 2021

15 Fellows will be selected to join DDQIC’s summer incubation program. During this phase, Fellows will get the opportunity to work on their ideas, access seed funding, and participate in weekly 3-2-1 pitch presentations about the work they are doing as they transform their ideas into scalable startups. In addition, Fellows will receive a $500 stipend and dedicated coaches and mentors from DDQIC’s Global Network of industry experts and entrepreneurs.

Graduation – August 2021

Startup entrepreneurs (Fellows) will complete their incubation program at the end of August 2021. After graduation, Fellows will continue to receive post-incubation services, supports, and pitch competition opportunities as part of DDQIC’s network. Fellows will be invited to participate as ambassadors and mentors for future Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowships as well.

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How will the training be delivered?

The training will be delivered virtually through an online learning platform. Prospective fellows will receive access to the online learning platform where they will complete the video training and readings at their own pace. In order to demonstrate their commitment to the entrepreneurship training and their progress on building a venture, prospective fellows will submit assignments online, adhering to strict deadlines.

Eligibility Criteria

You will find below the eligibility criteria

  • Open to African students and recent grads with a desire to solve pressing problems and bring entrepreneurial ideas to life.
  • All applicants and participants must be able to participate and complete the program in English. If someone doesn’t speak or write English, they can still apply, but they must form a team with someone who can fulfill all the requirements of the program in English.

How to Apply?

All participants should visit this link to apply before midnight the 30th November 2020, your local time.

For more information about the fellowship, visit the Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship website..

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About Emmanuel Oluwatosin

Co-founder & Publisher of AfricaX. He is interested in: Technology | Media | Startup | Business | Education. Emmanuel currently lives in Calgary, Canada with his family.

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