Applications are due December 4, 2023 at midnight your local time.
About The Program
The Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship gives African students and recent graduates the opportunity to access training, resources, financial support and a network of mentors to develop their entrepreneurial skills and start building their own venture. The 8-month program develops the exceptional entrepreneurial skillset and mindset of leaders to drive social and financial impact.
We provide participants who demonstrate a willingness to learn, take risks, and commit themselves fully with the best that our innovation centre has to offer.
- 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
- Live workshops on marketing, goal setting, and recruiting are held throughout the program
- Opportunity to earn micro-credentials on Entrepreneurship awarded by Queen’s University for successful completion the courses
Mentorship and Networking
- 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
- Fellows are matched to industry leaders and entrepreneurs in the final phase of the program
- Receive feedback at important startup milestones
Our Mentors include:
Christine Kamala, founder of Christie’s Crisp
Kora Sabi Janvier, founder of Allo Veto
Oluwasegun Oluwaleti, founder of Water Boy
Duncan Asamoah, founder of Mr. Neat Company
and many others
Financial Support and Opportunities
- Up to 60 Fellows will be selected in the final phase to receive a stipend of $500 CAD
- Opportunities to pitch for prizes of up to $15,000 CAD in the pitch competition at the end of the program
- Opportunities to travel to the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre to build lasting connections that will help your further your business venture
We believe we do our best work when we tackle problems from diverse perspectives.
We are committed to eliminating barriers to entrepreneurship and making the program inclusive to as many people as possible. We are constantly iterating and improving the courses in response to user needs.
- In 2020-2022, 60% of the cohort identified as women, and we strongly encourage women to apply to the program as we recognize the additional barriers women face when accessing employment or venturing into entrepreneurship.
- In 2021-2022, the courses were adapted to be accessible by those with limited internet access, from downloading content to language support for French speaking students
- All Queen’s University badges earned in the course are free of cost and all badges and certificates are available online so that students can retrieve them anywhere, at any time, and easily share the details of their achievements. The certificates and badges have a unique ID that will be kept as a permanent record using Blockchain technology.
- Each participant receives direct access to a program coach to provide support and a group of over 15 mentors in the completion of the course.
Who We’re Looking For
We accept students and recent graduates from all academic disciplines, and from any African post-secondary institution. Whether you are already working on a business or you are looking to start something new, we can help you.
We are looking for participants who are committed to developing their entrepreneurial mindset and taking advantage of the resources provided to develop their own enterprise. The program is delivered virtually and can be completed at any pace, however the most committed participants will commit at least 10 hours per week. In order to progress through the program phases, participants will submit assignments online, adhering to strict deadlines.
The program content is delivered in English. Mentorship may be offered in English and French. Assignments and pitches must be completed in English. Prospective fellows who are unable to speak or write English are still encouraged to apply and form teams with someone who can fulfill all the requirements of the program in English. Prospective fellows may also work with their local university to come up with a strategy to make sure they are able to access university resources that will help them navigate the challenge related to language ability.