Jacobs Social Entrepreneur Fellowship

Today’s talented young people are the opinion leaders and decision makers of tomorrow. We want to introduce them early on to our areas of interest so that they can work with us to move forward in those areas in the future. Accordingly, the Jacobs Foundation provides support for young people in fields related to its thematic priorities.

With the social entrepreneurship program, the Foundation offers a range of support opportunities for young people in the social impact space such as MBA fellowships, loan forgiveness, or start-up funds in partnership with different schools in the US as well as in Europe. Fellows demonstrate a commitment to the Foundation’s thematic priorities and have an entrepreneurial vision for social impact. They either pursue an MBA focused on social entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, and social innovation or they are starting their own social venture, preferably in the field of early childhood development, education, or learning in either the US, Europe, or (West) Africa. While the expertise they acquire benefits the fellows themselves, it also plays an important role in the development and implementation of our programs in Europe and Africa.

Fellows first have to be accepted at a business school partnering with the Foundation before being eligible for the foundation’s social entrepreneurship program. Further eligibility criteria and information on the application process can be found on the partners’ websites.


Duration: Two years for each student
Partner: Haas School of Business der University of California Berkeley
MIT Sloan School of Management
Yale School of Management
The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania
Said Business School at University of Oxford

Scope: 25,000 CHF per student per year

Jacobs Foundation
Dr. Urs Arnold
Seefeldquai 17
8034 Zurich


Business Fellows

  • 2017 - 2019
    Mark Adams

    Mark Adams has spent his career driving impact and outreach in the financial inclusion space of international development. He specializes in designing new projects and launching them in developing markets by building and leveraging strong relationships. Most recently, he worked in Kenya for 3 years at One Acre Fund, a social enterprise serving over 400,000 smallholder farmers across East and Southern Africa. He developed and led key early-stage work to engage other financial providers across the globe and advance rural financial inclusion. Previously, he managed operations at FINCA Zambia, a major global microfinance provider. His passion for economic development began during college while living, working and studying in South Africa and Senegal. He holds a bachelor’s degrees in Economic Development and French from Tufts University.

    I am immensely proud and excited to be counted among the Jacobs Business Fellows, and the first at MIT Sloan. I aim to use both the MBA and the Jacobs Network experiences to build out my skill set and learn from both the private and research sectors. The wealth and diversity of experience in the Jacobs Network will be a valuable resource in my goal to build better, more efficient, and more impactful development organizations. I also hope to make a contribution through the learning and perspective I’ve gained through field work, particularly to the Foundation’s TRECC project and Barry Callebaut’s work with cocoa growers in West Africa. I greatly look forward to collaborating with the Foundation and my co-Fellows.

    Cheikhou Diaw

    Cheikhou DIAW is a dual citizen of Côte d’Ivoire and France passionate about technology, clean-energy and education in Africa. As an LTE Expert, he has contributed to the success of technologies that have tripled the data speed of mobile phones in Europe, the middle-east, south-east Asia and the US.

    As one of the newest Jacobs fellow, Cheikhou plans to leverage the extensive resources of the foundation’s talent network to share ideas and heterogeneous expertise while promoting a marriage between technology and education as a powerful tandem that will help spread quality education across Africa.

    Elizabeth Lawton Kuriakose

    Elizabeth Lawton Kuriakose’s career has centered on the intersection between research and the public interest. Before joining the MBA program at UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Elizabeth was an Assistant Director at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. In her two years at the Packard Foundation, she worked to build an inspired community of donors supporting child health. She contributed to over $130 million of fundraising in private gifts and venture philanthropy. Earlier, she was a research assistant at the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., specializing in law, politics, and ethics. Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s degree in international politics from Georgetown University and a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.


    As a Jacobs Business Fellow, I plan to engage with the vast resources of the Jacobs organizations to strengthen my understanding of how to build and lead organizations that improve social health, especially by advancing the needs of young people. I have a special interest in education and am eager to dive into the studies of Jacobs researchers on the science of learning. I hope to build partnerships between business leaders, social entrepreneurs, and researchers, in order to ensure that the work of social enterprises and mission-driven businesses is based on the latest science. As an MBA student, I will build the skills to establish, scale, and operate both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Participating in the Jacobs Talent Network will enable me to focus my learning and will bolster my passion for supporting youth, families, and communities.

    Catherine Soler

    Catherine Soler’s cross-sector experience has focused on creating social impact through both business and community engagement. Catherine began her career at Deloitte & Touche in New York. She then joined Catchafire, a startup social enterprise which provides a technology platform to connect professional talent to social good organizations. At Catchafire, she consulted with nonprofit organizations, and managed custom programs with Fortune 500 companies and global foundations to pioneer a new wave in philanthropy, resulting in over $1 million in impact created in the programs’ inaugural year. Prior to pursuing her MBA program at Berkeley-Haas, Catherine undertook extensive travel to transition her career into food and agriculture, and began her own international social impact consulting firm. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Trustees for Education Africa based in South Africa. Catherine has a strong interest in business’ role in both global food system development and education as means of poverty alleviation in Latin America and Africa. Catherine holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Notre Dame where she served as Student Body President.

    Through the Jacobs Fellowship, I plan to help build the Jacobs Talent Network community and define its vision and mission. I would love to bring the learnings from Jacobs’ research to nonprofit organizations, and engage with its work on TRECC to support sustainable global cocoa production and farmer empowerment. I’m looking forward to building relationships across sectors, learning from other fellows and contributing to their pursuits.

  • 2016 - 2018
    Amanda Eller

    Amanda Eller, who graduated from the George Washington University, Washington DC, with a Bachelor in International Affairs states: I am honored and grateful to be joining the Jacobs Network alongside an inspiring group of Fellows. Given my passion for entrepreneurship as a tool for economic development, especially in West Africa, I am excited to learn from the Jacobs Foundation’s deep experience working with corporate social responsibility programs to further social impact goals. 

    Amanda started her career on a Fulbright research grant in Benin, where she first became interested in social entrepreneurship. Most recently, she worked for SunFarmer, a startup building solar energy projects for hospitals and schools in developing countries. She was also a founding team member at a sustainable apparel startup, and helped start a solar energy company in Nepal.

    Victor Leclere

    Victor Leclere, who graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health states:
    “I am humbled and proud to be a part of the Jacobs Foundation and Talent Network. The Jacobs Foundation’s mission to impact child and youth development is inextricably linked to nutrition and access to health care services. As a Jacobs Fellow, I hope to learn more about the Foundation’s initiatives as well as provide insights and explore opportunities at the intersection development and health.”

    The 26-year-old fellow, born in France, has been advising greenfield hospitals and health systems in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the United States over the past four and a half years.



    Tyler Saltiel

    Tyler Saltiel, who graduated from George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon, with a Bachelor in Business Administration says: I am delighted to join the Jacobs Talent Network and have the support of the Jacobs Foundation. I look forward to partnering with other fellows, researchers, and the full network to tackle the challenges facing children in West Africa who live in communities with limited resources. My career aim is to remove the barriers, such as lack of access to quality education, that prevent those in poverty from reaching their full potential and I am glad to be allied with the Jacobs Foundation in working to achieve this objective. 

    The 30-year-old fellow, born in the US, started his career at Deloitte providing audit services before becoming Controller at Partners In Health (PIH), a nonprofit organization bringing healthcare services to poor communities in West Africa and around the globe. In this role, Tyler led finance teams as well as oversaw finance and accounting processes at PIH’s headquarters and 12 country sites.

  • 2015 - 2017
    Hadiatou Barry

    Hadiatou Barry, who graduated from Georgetown University, Washington DC, with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service says:
    “I am proud and grateful to be part of the Jacobs Foundation legacy of expanding opportunities for youth across the world and nurturing ambition. I came to Berkeley Haas with the intention of leaving a social entrepreneur and the Foundation’s generosity has given me the courage to explore new ways to address education challenges in Africa and turn more dreams into reality.”

    The 26-year-old fellow, born in Guinea, has nearly four years of experience in backstopping and managing transformative and inclusive economic growth projects in East and West Africa.

    Nancy Cao

    Nancy Cao, who graduated from University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, French and Francophone Studies expresses:
    “I am excited to embark on the next phase of my career with the support of the Jacobs Foundation. I believe that economic opportunity is most effectively created by the private sector, but without social mission becomes extractive and merely maintains the status quo: a global imbalance of income and influence. I hope to explore this tension through the Berkeley and Jacobs networks, and ultimately find a creative, profitable, and sustainable method for creating economic opportunity and growth in developing nations.”

    The 27-year-old fellow, born in the US, has been carving a career path from business to social impact for the past four and a half years. At a Nairobi-based education startup Cao is a founding member of the employer training team, and is leading the creation of an internal university for a solar energy company.

    Claire Markham

    Claire Markham, CFA, who graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, with a Bachelor in Business Administration emphasizes:
    “I am thrilled to be a Jacobs Fellow because I dedicate my career towards equalizing access to economic opportunity globally, and particularly access to education. It is a privilege to work towards that goal alongside the Jacobs Foundation, with its remarkable track record at improving education opportunity for vulnerable and underrepresented groups. As a Jacobs Fellow, I expect to gain valuable insight from the Jacobs Foundation team and from the other Berkeley-Haas Jacobs Fellows, and in turn share my own learnings in this field while at Haas and thereafter.” 

    The 29-year-old fellow, born in Canada, began her career working in a global infrastructure financing team with KPMG for three years. She then moved to Kenya to work with Kiva, a non-profit microlending organization, to explore how microfinance and social enterprise can be used to tackle some of the largest social and economic challenges.