The MasterCard Foundation and MIT Partner to Support Entrepreneurship in Africa
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS and TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Oct. 27, 2011) – The MasterCard Foundation and the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are pleased to announce a strategic 10-year, $21 million grant to support emerging entrepreneurs focused on Africa and developing regions.
“The Legatum Center uniquely combines entrepreneurial leadership, technological innovation and grassroots development to benefit the world’s poor,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “Our partnership will educate a new generation of leaders and provide them with the knowledge, skills and networks they need to create sustainable businesses that make a measurable impact on poverty.”
The partnership will provide 200 fellowships at the Legatum Center for students from developing countries, with an emphasis on students from Africa. The Legatum Center will publish case studies of entrepreneurship-led development and business models that meet the needs of the poor. The Center will also host a global competition to catalyze and recognize transformative innovations that invigorate economic growth and create employment opportunities, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The MasterCard Foundation is adding important building blocks to the Legatum Center’s endeavors. The Foundation is making it possible for 200 students from developing nations, preferably from African nations, to attend MIT and prepare for entrepreneurial careers. It is helping us establish other programs that connect us to those nations more effectively. In addition to the funding support, the Foundation itself has related programs in these countries and, as a result, augments our overall network.”
The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducts a Fellowship program which prepares MIT students to establish innovative, sustainable, for-profit enterprises in emerging countries. By promoting enterprises that engage local human resources and introduce new technologies and processes, the Legatum Center aims to address deep-rooted problems in low-income countries.