2023 Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship for young African students & recent graduates.


Application Deadline: December 4, 2022.

Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship in Entrepreneurship it gives African students and recent graduates access to training, resources, financial support and a network of mentors to develop their entrepreneurial skills and start building their own enterprise. The 8-month program develops exceptional entrepreneurial skills and the mindset of leaders to drive social and financial impact.


  • The IS Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship accepts students and recent graduates from all academic disciplines, and from any post-secondary institution in Africa. Whether you’re already working on a business or you’re looking to start something new, we can help.
  • The Fellowship is looking for participants who are committed to developing their entrepreneurial spirit and taking advantage of the resources provided to develop their own enterprise. The program is delivered virtually and can be completed at any pace, but the most committed participants will commit to at least 10 hours per week. To progress through the stages of the program, participants will submit assignments online, adhering to strict deadlines.
  • The program content is provided in English. Mentoring can be offered in English and French.
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Program Benefits

Best in class training

  • A business bootcamp delivered by Queen’s University faculty and industry leaders who bring decades of combined entrepreneurship and C-Suite experience
  • The Disciplinary Entrepreneurship Framework, a step-by-step proven framework for scalable startups developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Field training and mastery
  • Live workshops on marketing, goal setting, and recruiting are held throughout the program
  • Opportunity to earn a micro-credential in Entrepreneurship awarded by Queen’s University for successful completion of the courses

Mentoring and Networking

  • Connect with mentors and speakers who are at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship in North America
  • Access the Global Network of Queen’s entrepreneurial alumni
  • Join a cohort of thousands of like-minded students and recent graduates from across Africa
  • Fellows are matched with industry leaders and entrepreneurs in the final phase of the program
  • Get feedback on important startup milestones

Financial Support

  • Up to 60 Fellows will be selected in the final phase to receive a stipend of $500 CAD
  • Opportunities to win prizes of up to $15,000 CAD in the pitch competition at the end of the program
  • Opportunities to travel to the Queen’s Dunin-Deshpande Innovation Center to create lasting connections that will help you grow your business
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Program Timeline

Stage 1: Inspection (January-February)

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

Phase 2: Ignite (March-April)

180+ contestants with outstanding commitment to the entrepreneurial process, who have excelled at the milestones set out in phase one, will be selected to enter 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 Disciplinary Entrepreneurship framework workbook. At the end of this stage, the participants will present their ideas, competing for the fellowship, and the most developed and promising business ideas will receive the fellowship.

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Stage 3: Launch and Fellowship (May-August)

Up to 60 Fellows will be selected to participate in 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 pitch presentations about the work they’re doing and developing their ideas. transition into scalable businesses. In addition, Fellows will receive a $500 stipend and dedicated coaches and mentors from DDQIC’s Global Network of industry experts and entrepreneurs. Fellows will have the opportunity to compete in a pitch competition for additional seed funding at the end of the program.

Graduation (August)

Budding entrepreneurs (Fellows) will complete their incubation program at the end of August. After graduation, Fellows will continue to receive post-nutrition services, support, and field competition opportunities as part of the DDQIC network.

High Performance Members will also be invited to participate as ambassadors and mentors for the future Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of Mastercard Jim Leech Foundation Fellowship Program 2023


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