Empowering a New Generation of African Leaders

How do you help solve today’s most pressing challenges a continent away? It starts with bringing together the brightest minds in the most critical fields, from business to medicine, agriculture to information technology. Through academic coursework, leadership training and networking, aspiring entrepreneurs are equipped to promote growth and prosperity, strengthen democracy and enhance peace across Africa.

It’s all part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship of the Young African Leaders Initiative, the flagship program started by the Obama administration in 2014. Five hundred African Fellows were given the opportunity to hone their skills at U.S. academic institutions. The University of Notre Dame hosted 25 Fellows on a business and entrepreneurship track. This track caters to the range of aspiring entrepreneurs looking to take on the leadership roles within the private sector or to start their own business. The Business of Good: Young Africa Rising™ film shares their remarkable journey that will forever alter their lives and bring lasting impact to their homeland.

Learning, Networking and Solving: A True Story With Real Significance

The inspiring story of the young African leaders was captured in a film by Bisk and the University of Notre Dame, who are committed to creating social change through learning opportunities. Bisk is proud to be a corporate partner for the project, providing support to help make the Fellowship a success.

This YALI film project, driven by worldwide online education leader Bisk, has captured each moment of the Fellows’ journey, as dedicated Notre Dame faculty challenge these young leaders to unleash their leadership potential.

Working with the Mendoza College of Business' Nonprofit Professional Development program, Bisk first became involved by providing the fellows access to relevant Notre Dame online coursework in their home countries in Africa. The 100% online coursework helped prepare them for the educational journey ahead. The shared mission of education-for-the-greater-good between Bisk, Notre Dame and YALI made it clear that there was a larger story to tell. As a result, Bisk embedded a videographer to travel with the Fellows, capturing their U.S. journey through personal interviews, on-campus mentorship, inspiring onsite experiences – even social challenges. The Business of Good film is a documentary short that tells their story.

Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development

As part of the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD), collaborators within the University of Notre Dame train the young African leaders in business and entrepreneurship. Participants include the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business Nonprofit Executive Program, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies’ Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity and the University’s Engineering, Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship Excellence Masters (ESTEEM) program.

Click the logos below to learn more about the YALI program at Notre Dame.