TechInAfrica – The MasterCard Foundation supports youths to set out social ventures and community projects by funding US$2 Million, driving economic growth and more job opportunities. The funding is dedicated to a pilot project run for more than 2 years, allowing the young enterprises to develop their leadership skills as well as execute their social and entrepreneurial ideas.
The MasterCard Foundation is committed to bringing social impacts through its program called the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program. Some of the young leaders joined on the Program are encouraged to bring impact to their surroundings. They set out impactful ideas and get support financially by the Scholars Foundation.
The Associate Director of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program said, “We are compelled by the leadership of African youth and the vision they hold for the continent’s future. Whether it is providing quality education for refugee youth and children in Uganda, developing organic and cost-efficient fertilizers for low-income farmers in Zimbabwe, or creating a ‘Made in Africa’ brand that employs vulnerable artisans, Scholars are already activating their ideas for change with modest resources. We believe Scholars will seize this new opportunity to lead change in their communities.”
The Scholars Programs will cover some of local universities and institutions’ social and entrepreneurial projects. The Mastercard Foundation will help to monitor and evaluate their activities in order to better improve the Scholars Program.
Shantel Marekera, a Scholar from Arizona State University as well as the Founder of Little Dreamers, said, “The announcement of the new fund has been met with a lot of excitement across the Scholars Program. Many Scholars have been shelving their innovative and revolutionary give-back ideas because of the absence of seed funding opportunities. However, this fund dedicated to supporting Scholars’ social venture ideas will definitely encourage us to follow our passion and ignite change within our communities.”
Meanwhile, a Scholar from Makerere University as well as the Co-Founder of Sparky Social Enterprise, Kayiza Isma said, “The Scholars community is comprised of ambitious young leaders who are eager to create positive change in their community by using their game-changing ideas, and whose only limitation is often a lack of funding. The Mastercard Foundation’s new fund will initiate a wave of community transformation across Africa by kickstarting hundreds of social ventures pioneered by young African leaders themselves.”
The MasterCard Foundation has funded a total of 30 ventures for over 3 years, supporting their projects that bring impacts to society and people’s lives. Additionally, the Foundation has been helped to find these ventures by some Scholars. One of the ventures was previously funded by Mastercard Foundation is Happy Home Eco-Sanitation Company/Services with its projects building a 7-unit facility at Berekuso Basic School as well as a standalone toilet facility for a nursery school, EduCare in Berekuso, Ghana. Additionally, the Mastercard Foundation also funded some social projects in other African countries including the Little Dreamers Foundation in Zimbabwe as well as Sparky Dehydrator in Uganda.
Speaking about the Program, a Scholar from Ashesi University College and the Co-Founder of Happy Home Eco-Sanitation Services, Kwabena Adu-Darkwa commented, “As much as a brilliant solution and a great team are needed to solve a difficult problem, accessing funds is highly essential for young leaders like ourselves,”
“This was our own experience – our idea to provide communities with access to safe, affordable toilets had to be shelved until we gained the needed financial backing. We believe this new seed funding initiative from the Mastercard Foundation will help catalyze give-back projects and will provide many other Scholars with the opportunity to convert their ideas into workable solutions,” said Adu-Darkwa.