The Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship at MIT recently announced the recipients of the 2012-2013 Legatum Fellowships. This year’s cohort includes 25 remarkable students with projects in 15 different countries. The students’ ventures encompass a wide range of fields including health care in China, eucalyptus plantations in Brazil, and the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood.
Four incoming fellows plan to launch ventures in Nigeria with another four developing business concepts to meet market needs in India. Projects planned for countries in Latin America include enterprises in financial services, information technology, telecommunications, forestry and sourcing/importing goods. In the Palestinian territories, Sierra Leone, Jordan and Armenia, all with populations of fewer than 7 million, Legatum Fellows will catalyze change using technology in the diverse fields of energy, agriculture, retail commerce and media. Three of this year’s fellows will work on projects that address the education and health needs of underserved populations in China and Pakistan. Finally, two fellows will introduce radical new approaches to the apparel and farming industries of Senegal and Tanzania.
These students have committed themselves to making impact in low-income countries through the development of for-profit businesses. During their fellowships, they will further develop their business plans by conducting market research, developing prototypes, seeking capital and leveraging the resources of MIT. Members of the Legatum Center staff and a select group of mentors will provide coaching in both strategic and tactical areas. The students will benefit from an entrepreneurial ecosystem including MIT’s rich culture of entrepreneurship and technology-driven innovation.