2023 Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship in Entrepreneurship for Young African Students and Recent Graduates.

Jim-Lish Foundation-MasterCard-Fellowship in Entrepreneurship

Application deadline: December 4, 2022.

Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship in Entrepreneurship It 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 business. The 8-month program develops the exceptional entrepreneurial skillset and mindset of leaders to drive social and financial impact.


  • The Jim Leech MasterCard Foundation Fellowship It accepts students and recent graduates from all academic disciplines, and from any African post-secondary institution. Whether you are already working on a business or looking to start something new, we can help.
  • The fellowship is looking for participants who are committed to developing their own entrepreneurial mindset and utilizing the resources offered to develop their own ventures. The program is delivered virtually and can be completed at any pace, however the most committed participants will commit to a minimum of 10 hours per week. In order to progress through the stages of the programme, participants will submit their assignments online, while adhering to strict deadlines.
  • Program content is delivered in English. Guidance can be provided in both English and French.

Program benefits

Best training in its class

  • 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 MIT
  • Pitch training and mastery
  • Live workshops on marketing, goal setting, and recruitment are held throughout the programme
  • Opportunity to earn micro-entrepreneurship credentials awarded by Queen’s University for successful completion of courses

Extension and networking

  • Connect with the mentors and speakers who are driving innovation and entrepreneurship in North America
  • Access to a global network of entrepreneurial alumni in Queens
  • Join a community of thousands of like-minded students and recent graduates from across Africa
  • Fellows are matched with industry leaders and entrepreneurs at the final stage of the programme
  • Receive feedback at critical startup milestones

Financial support

  • Up to 60 fellows will be selected as a finalist for a stipend of CAD 500
  • Opportunities to apply for prizes of up to CAD 15,000 in a pitch competition at the end of the program
  • Opportunities to travel to the innovation hub of Deneen Deshpande Coin to build lasting connections that will help boost your business

Program schedule

Phase 1: Exploration (January – February)

Over 1,000 exceptional candidates gain 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 prove their commitment to the entrepreneurial process by completing training and advancing on milestones for their idea.

Phase 2: Ignition (March-April)

More than 180 finalists with outstanding commitment to the entrepreneurial process, who will have excelled in the specified stages in the first stage, will be selected to join this stage. At this point, they will continue to check out an additional curated list of additional online entrepreneurship courses and work through the remaining steps of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship Framework Workbook. At the end of this phase, participants will present their ideas, compete for the fellowship, and the most advanced and promising business ideas will become the finalists for the fellowship.

Phase 3: Launch and Fellowship (May-August)

Up to 60 Fellows will be selected to join the DDQIC Summer Incubation Program. During this phase, Fellows will have the opportunity to work on their ideas, access seed funding, and participate in weekly 3-2-1 presentations on the work they do as they turn 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 and business experts. Fellows will have the opportunity to compete in an advertising competition to receive more seed funding at the end of the program.

Graduation (August)

The start-up entrepreneurs (fellows) will complete their incubation program at the end of August. Upon graduation, Fellows will continue to receive post-incubation services, support, and opportunities to compete in presentations as part of the DDQIC network.

High-performing fellows will be invited to participate as ambassadors and mentors in future Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowships as well.

for more information:

Visit the official webpage of the 2023 Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship Program

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