HOW CAN TOMORROW’S African leaders use social entrepreneurship to solve their nations’ challenges? One way is to learn how to invest in new technologies, as 25 young African participants did during a sixweek leadership training program at Purdue University and Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship accelerator, both in West Lafayette, Indiana. The participants were part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative, which provides leadership training to individuals between the ages of 25 and 35.
During the Mandela Global Challenge, ten social entrepreneurs and researchers from Purdue—both students and faculty—presented their new technology and business ideas to the African leaders. The fellows used “Monopoly money” to invest in one or all of the technologies; they also scored the technology based on a set of investment criteria.
The technologies ranged from community water systems to fortified corn that provides essential nutrients. The student-presented technology that received the most investment from the fellows was a new treatment for drug-resistant malaria. The faculty-presented winner was a low-cost diagnostic for detecting infectious disease.
The program is a co-sponsored by the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, located in Purdue University’s Discovery Park, and the colleges of engineering and agriculture. Supported by the Krannert School of Management, the Center for Global Food Security, the Office of Engagement, and the Office of Corporate and Global Partnerships, the program complements “Purdue World,” a global project launched by the university in August to accelerate social entrepreneurship programs.