Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation

The Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship provides you with the confidence, resources, knowledge, network, and financial support necessary to launch a successful firm.

For African students and recent graduates who want to address challenges and turn their entrepreneurial ideas into reality.

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Best-in-class training:

  • Queen’s University teachers and industry executives present a business bootcamp with decades of combined entrepreneurial and C-Suite experience.
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology established the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework, a proven step-by-step methodology for scalable enterprises
  • Coaching and mastery of the pitch
  • 100% completion of DDQIC’s essential entrepreneurial training modules earns you a certificate.

Visibility and Networking on a Global Scale:

  • Liaise with North American innovators and entrepreneurs as mentors and speakers.
  • Get access to a global network of Queen’s graduates who are entrepreneurs.
  • Join a group of thousands of like-minded African students and recent graduates.


  • In the last phase of the program, fellows are matched with industry experts
  • Get input at key milestones in your startup’s development.

Financial Support:

  • Each Fellow will receive a $500 CAD stipend.
  • Dunin-Deshpande offers opportunities to pitch for money. Seed funding competitions at the Queen’s Innovation Centre

Program Timeline:

Program Phase 1:

Investigate – December 2021-February 2022

1000 exceptional candidates are given access to a handpicked collection of online entrepreneurship courses and are required to complete the first 11 phases of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework workbook.

Candidates have many months to complete the course and progress on their ideas’ specific milestones, demonstrating their dedication to the entrepreneurial process.

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Ignite, Phase 2 — February-April 2022

This phase will be comprised of 30 finalists who have demonstrated a strong dedication to the entrepreneurial process and have succeeded at the benchmarks set forth in phase one.

They will continue to go through an extra curated list of online entrepreneurship courses and complete the remaining phases of the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework’s workbook throughout this phase.

The participants will pitch their ideas at the end of this round, competing for the fellowship, and the finalists with the most advanced and potential business concepts will be chosen to receive the fellowship.

Phase 3: Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Entrepreneurship Fellowship – May–August 2022

A total of 15 Fellows will be chosen to participate in DDQIC’s summer incubation program. Fellows will have the opportunity to work on their ideas, obtain seed money, and present their work in weekly 3-2-1 pitch presentations as they develop their ideas into scalable enterprises during this phase.

Fellows will also receive a $500 stipend from DDQIC’s Global Network of industry experts and entrepreneurs, as well as specialized coaches and mentors.

Graduation is scheduled for August 2022.

The incubation program for startup entrepreneurs (Fellows) will terminate at the end of August. Fellows will continue to benefit from post-incubation services, support, and pitch competition chances as part of the DDQIC network after graduation.

Future Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowships will also ask fellows to serve as ambassadors and mentors.

How to apply

To find out more about the programme and how to apply, click here

Application Deadline:

November 30th, 2021

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