The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is a champion of entrepreneurs and Michigan State University (MSU) is likewise committed to bringing an entrepreneurial culture to campus. In 2016, MSU brought aboard a dedicated expert to work closely with MSU’s colleges and to establish a culture of entrepreneurship for students across campus. Building on existing initiatives such as:
The university’s administration has reinforced the inspiration of entrepreneurship in the comprehensive development of the T Shaped scholar. MSU has also created a department of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship & Innovation to further the culture of entrepreneurship on campus.
Why does it matter? According to the World Bank, labor demand is lagging far behind relative to the recent increased investments in natural resources and infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the continent with the youngest population in the world, African youth are not able to transition to the workforce fast enough. Entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises can drive economic growth, create jobs, and address unmet needs in innovative ways.
As strong believers in the entrepreneurial mindset, The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program at MSU is well positioned to support bright and passionate Scholars from the continent of Africa in generating upward mobility in their home countries. If we make the mistake of pigeonholing entrepreneurs simply as “folks who start a small business”, we miss the opportunity to tap into the creativity, adaptability, foresight, and problem solving skills, which exist within all entrepreneurial minds, regardless of career path. Our program is designed to arm our Scholars with a can-do attitude and a spirit of entrepreneurship, which can empower them to be impactful and innovative transformative leaders.