On December 3rd, The Mastercard Foundation and the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) have announced a partnership offering free virtual entrepreneurship training, and an opportunity to receive startup funding to more than 1,000 students through the Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship for African Students at Queen’s University.
The program launched in September 2020. It provides students and recent graduates from African universities within the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program with the opportunity to apply to a free virtual entrepreneurship training program delivered by Queen’s University’s DDQIC Program. Through this program, award-winning faculty and some of the best innovators, policymakers, and business strategists collaborate to support students to become Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellows. During the 2020-2021 Academic year, 1,252 students participated, and more than 60 percent of the cohort were women, recognizing the additional barriers women face when starting a business or seeking employment in Africa.
Prospective fellows receive access to a curated list of online entrepreneurship courses developed at DDQIC and work through the Disciplined Entrepreneurship Framework developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The fellowship is designed to address unemployment among post-secondary graduates by equipping thousands of students and recent graduates with sufficient entrepreneurial training to initiate and continue to grow their businesses.
In this episode, we have the pleasure of chatting first with Titose Chembezi at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She was the $5000 prize at the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre DDQIC Summer Pitch Competition and said the pitch experience provided her with a boost of confidence.
Following our chat with Chembezi, we sit down again with Jim Leech, member of the Order of Canada, former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Mastercard Foundation and, of course, Chancellor Emeritus of Queen’s University about the Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship for African Students.
For application inquiries, please contact:
Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre
Program Coordinator at the Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship for African Students