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.

 

Business Fellows

  • 2018 - 2020
    Kesson Anderson

    Yale University

    Kesson serves as the Managing Director of Partnership Development at the Achievement Network (ANet), a nonprofit that partners with district and school leaders to boost student learning with great teaching. In this role, Kesson leads the training and development of ANet’s sales team and the organization’s annual goal setting, and works closely with Regional Vice Presidents to set and execute towards a long-term vision for sustainability. Prior to this role, Kesson served as a Director of School Support in ANet’s DC Office, providing instructional leadership support to school leaders in Washington, DC. Kesson comes to ANet after earning her MBA from Yale and an internship with the Gates Foundation. Prior to Yale, Kesson was a Development Manager with the DC Public Education Fund, where she raised over $6 million to support DC Public Schools, and a Site Director at Heads Up, where she managed an after school and summer program for over 175 students at a DC elementary school. Kesson began her career as an Atlanta Public Schools teacher, where she taught for two years as a Teach For America corps member.

    Kesson graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Studies and Psychology.

    Kesson is eager to connect with and learn from leaders of the Jacobs Foundation and other fellows, specifically in the areas of public-private partnerships that accelerate student achievement and connecting research on student learning to practices in the field.

    Lauren Grimanis

    Berkeley Haas

    Lauren has had a diverse background in traditional non-profits and as a social entrepreneur and a social impact consultant. Launching her career at Habitat for Humanity, Lauren worked to improve affordable housing for families through resource and community development. In 2014, she moved to Ghana to work full time on a non-profit organization, The Akaa Project, which she founded as a senior in high school. Living and working in rural Ghana, she was focused on closing the gap in rural education and developing a sustainable, local organization. The Akaa Project now provides computer education and literacy programs to over 150 students on a daily basis. Prior to seeking her MBA, Lauren was an independent social impact consultant working with Founders, Executive Directors, and startup social enterprises to support them in growth and tying new technologies into organizational practices. Lauren graduated with a Global Development and Management major from the College of Wooster (Ohio) where she was a two-sport athlete.

    As a Jacobs Fellow, Lauren plans to engage with the Jacobs Network and Foundation to bring together multi-disciplinary ideas and practices to build up the social sector. Similar to the principles of TRECC, she is interested in how governments, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector can collaborate to create scale and reach, especially for young women and farming communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Lauren is eager to learn from the breadth of knowledge within the Jacobs Network and to share her past experiences and MBA learnings.

    Timothy Glynn

    MIT Sloan School of Management

    Tim comes from a family of agricultural entrepreneurs but originally started his career in the financial sector, first with Goldman Sachs in London and later Tim was part of the founding team that launched First Circle, a Manila-based online lending platform using data to provide credit to SME’s. During his MBA at MIT Sloan he has co-founded Iamus Technologies, an agricultural technology company that uses machine learning to turn visual, environmental and biometric information into actionable data for poultry producers.

    Iamus is developing an Industrial Internet of Things solution integrating robotics and data analytics to restore the $4.5B that is annually lost through human inefficiencies in poultry production.

    This product enables poultry companies to reach data-driven solutions, reducing inefficiencies in food production and enabling more profitable, effective, and safer working environment for farmers supplying the industry. Operating from the Philippines, Iamus is solving an inherently global problem as the industry focuses on improved animal and farmworker welfare. Tim graduated with 1st Class Honors in Actuarial Statistics from University College Dublin and is an MBA Student at MIT Sloan, having received the JFK Trust fellowship.

    Through the Jacobs Fellowship, Tim looks forward to sharing his experience growing a successful team so as to help business and science fellows build and scale their organizations.

    Allyse McGrath

    Berkeley Haas

    Allyse McGrath’s career has been focused on how to democratize opportunity through financial services. Before joining the MBA Program at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Allyse worked as a research analyst at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion. During that time, Allyse researched how to build the financial health and capability of underserved customers, as well as how traditional financial institutions can design better service offerings for low-income customers. Before this, Allyse contributed to the communications efforts at the African Cashew Alliance in Accra, Ghana, a multi-stakeholder association focused on how to increase cashew processing capacity in West Africa. Allyse holds a bachelor degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.

    Allyse is thrilled to be joining the Jacobs Network and looks forward to exploring new ways to strengthen cross-sectoral learning between Network members. She also plans to learn from and contribute to the TRECC Program and efforts of Barry Callebaut to improve social outcomes along the cocoa value chain.

    Pawel Mordel

    Yale University

    Pawel Mordel is a social entrepreneur based in Berlin. His current focus is After School Hustle, a non-profit youth education program that he founded in 2017 and provides disadvantaged youth opportunities to explore creative ways to express themselves. Pawel received his MBA from Yale in 2016. The time at business school gave him not only the opportunity to learn, but also to reflect in an intellectually stimulating environment – about his own interests and strenghts, as well as about opportunities for impactful entrepreneurship. His work experience prior to the MBA centered on start-ups and communications agencies. Here Pawel became skilled in making things interesting, relevant and pleasant.

    As a Jacobs Business Fellow, he wants to apply this skill-set to the education sector. With the support of the foundation, he hopes to build an impactful organization that can improve the perspectives for teenagers in Berlin and beyond.

    Prosper Nyovanie

    MIT Sloan School of Management

    Prosper Nyovanie has spent all of his career working on sustainable electricity access, particularly to communities in rural areas. Prosper began his career SunEdison, a renewable energy developer in Belmont, CA. At SunEdison he obtained extensive professional experience in the energy industry via SunEdison’s rotational program. His rotations included roles in development, sales, engineering and project management. In his last role, he worked on the Rural Electrification team to spearhead a Tanzanian market entry. As SunEdison’s first and only worker based in Tanzania, he took on multiple roles to strategize micro-grid development in Tanzania and Uganda. After leaving SunEdison, Prosper cofounded Voya Sol, a company that aims to be the designer and retailer of ready-to-assemble solar energy systems for off-grid communities in developing countries. Prosper earned an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Energy Studies from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is currently a Leader in Global Operations (LGO) fellow, pursuing a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from MIT.

    As a Jacobs Business Fellow, I aim to utilize the vast resources available through the Jacobs organization to learn how to develop and scale organizations that are geared towards social impact in rural communities. Being part of the Jacobs Network will allow me learn and contribute to a diverse pool of entrepreneurs and researchers focused on engaging communities in order to achieve sustainable development. I am excited and honored to join this year fellowship class.

    Seye Odukogbe

    Saïd Business School

    Seye is a chartered engineer and transport expert who has contributed greatly to the development of transport planning and engineering across the UK and Nigeria. He led what was considered then to be the largest transport data collection exercise in the history of Africa. At that time, no quality or comprehensive transport data was available to understand and plan transport effectively in Lagos. Seye has been an adviser on a large UK government infrastructure programme in Nigeria where he helped his public sector clients understand the strategic benefits of new technology, and developed a number of innovative decision planning tools to minimise subjectivity in transport planning.

    Seye combines his expertise in mobility and passion for education to tackle educational and social barriers. He is taking a holistic approach to children’s non-school enrolment through the
    Cycle to Class Initiative. His not-for-profit seeks to increase access to education for vulnerable children living in remote areas of Nigeria through the provision of bicycles.
    Seye was born in Nigeria and completed his education in the UK, graduating with a Masters of Engineering (MEng) in Medical Engineering from Queen Mary University of London in 2008. He is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and a Windsor Fellow.

    As a Jacobs Business Fellow, Seye hopes to deepen his understanding of grassroot issues and advocate practical solutions to solve mobility and educational challenges some rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa currently face.

    During his MBA programme at Oxford, Seye plans to take time to reflect and be exposed to different view-points, and work with individuals that would challenge his world view and whose ideas he could equally invest in. Furthermore, Seye desires to create the most meaningful fellowship experience with the Jacobs Foundation that ensures that he and his fellow scholars are set up for success in their different ventures.

    Juliet Wanyiri

    MIT Sloan School of Management

    Juliet Wanyiri is a graduate student at the MIT Integrated Design and Management (IDM) – a joint program between the MIT School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management.

    Born and raised in Kenya, Juliet founded Foondi Workshops which is a capacity-building platform for young African innovators. Using collaborative design and technology workshops, we aim to grow the design, technology and innovation skill-set on the continent in electronics, design and the internet of things (IoT). The vision behind Foondi’s technology programs is to create a platform for young Africans to gain access to the fast-changing 21st century technical skills for career advancement and new venture creation.

    Foondi’s work expands across Kenya, Uganda and Burundi where her company has engaged over 400 young Africans on the use of design and technology to develop innovative solutions that address challenges in transport, energy, healthcare and security. The outcomes of these workshops have been solutions around healthcare, clean energy, weather monitoring, wearable technology and security solutions which employ design, electronics, AI and the internet of things (IoT).

    Through the fellowship, Juliet hopes to expand Foondi’s works across the larger African market with the aim of increased access to 21st century skills in design, electronics and the internet of things (IoT) for Africa innovators.

    Laura White

    Saïd Business School

    Laura’s career has focused on empowering young children and their families. Before joining the MBA program at Oxford Saïd, “Ms. Laura” taught three and four year-old students as a preschool teacher for the District of Columbia Public Schools. She also taught one to four year-olds with autism for the city of DC’s early intervention program. As a former senior intrapreneur and leader of the US Changemaker Schools Network at Ashoka, Laura is passionate about combining her social entrepreneurship experience, her expertise as a highly effective teacher, and her MBA education to make high quality early childhood education and family support available to all families.

    Through the Jacobs Fellowship, Laura plans to engage with the network’s early childhood education experts and social entrepreneurs to support existing early childhood initiatives or potentially start an early childhood education social enterprise. Laura looks forward to learning from the other fellows, supporting other fellows’ pursuits, and helping to develop the Jacobs network.

  • 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.