The Legatum Center administers a fellowship program for incoming and current MIT students, across all academic & professional disciplines, who demonstrate the potential to create innovative, sustainable, for-profit enterprises that promote prosperity in low-income countries. Students who are committed to implementing business plans upon graduation are encouraged to apply.


Legatum Fellowship

2014 Legatum Fellowship Application is now closed for the next entering class of Legatum Fellows. Legatum Fellows benefit from tuition assistance and a robust program that prepares them for successful careers as entrepreneurs.

Current Fellows | Alumni Fellows | Application Instructions



The Legatum Center seeks entrepreneurs who aspire to have a lasting and positive economic impact on low-income countries by developing their own entrepreneurial ideas and building their own local enterprises. The Center’s approach is intensely practical. Recognizing that even the best innovations can be rendered useless if not distributed effectively, we work closely with our Fellows to design not just innovative products and services, but also workable, affordable, and sustainable business distribution methods.

The Fellowship is open to all incoming and current MIT graduate students. Students currently enrolled as sophomore or juniors at MIT may apply to become a Legatum Fellow for the upcoming class. The program includes:

  • Business coaching
  • Building skills tailoried to low-income settings
  • In-house scholars, domain experts, and mentors to provide general guidance, encouragement, or specialized advice on an as-needed basis
  • Regular seminars on topics such as building networks, cross-cultural communications, and investing for developing world entrepreneurship
  • A Lecture Series by entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and industry experts
  • Special case studies and other curriculum highlighting aspiring and successful entrepreneurs in low-income countries
  • Exposure to an extensive entrepreneurial ecosystem of investors, entrepreneurs, potential partners, and new technologies related to development and entrepreneurship

Legatum Fellows are accepted in the Spring prior to the academic year of their fellowship and begin working on their business proposals in the Summer months. Fellowships are awarded for one or two years, depending on a student's course of study. Legatum Fellowship alumni join a growing network of international entrepreneurs committed to bringing their business plans to fruition.

The MasterCard Foundation Fellowships within the Legatum Center

A generous gift from The MasterCard Foundation has established The MasterCard Foundation Fellowships within the Legatum Center to support MIT students who wish to establish businesses in low-income countries. This grant will provide up to 200 fellowships over a period of ten years, an average of 20 fellowships per year, with a preference for students working on projects in Africa. The application process is the same for all Legatum Fellowship applicants.

HRH Princess Moudi bint Khalid Fellowships within the Legatum Center

In 2011, the Legatum Center received a gift from the family of HRH Princess Moudi bint Khalid to support as Legatum Fellows those MIT students who are citizens or long-term residents of Saudi Arabia, and who wish to establish businesses that contribute to Saudi Arabia's economic and social progress. The application process is the same for all Legatum Fellowship applicants.

Browse current Legatum Fellows >>

Browse Legatum Fellow alumni >>

Learn more about the application process to become a Legatum Fellow >>