Machoice founder demonstrates their dishwashing  detergent at a JLMCF competition screening in Lagos

Evaluating the effectiveness of programs is a crucial activity for DDQIC to ensure that is it driving positive change. Every year, we conduct a program evaluation of the Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship to capture the impact of the program on tackling youth unemployment in Africa. 

Students from over 300 universities and 49 countries in Africa participated in the Jim Leech Mastercard Foundation Fellowship on Entrepreneurship in 2023. 

55 of those students completed all 4 program evaluation surveys anonymously, allowing DDQIC to gather important insights about the efficacy of the program. The surveys were delivered before starting the program and at the end of each of 3 program phases. 


  • Job creation: 84% of the participants indicated that their venture has hired at least 1 youth since January (6% increase from last year). 266 people were hired by 47 ventures since January, 253 of them being youth. 

  • Revenue: There was a 144% relative increase in respondents indicating increase in their revenues from pre-program to post-launch. There was a 214% relative increase in respondents indicating they have paying users/customers from pre-program to post-program. 

  • Reducing unemployment: There was an increase self-employment (18%) and a decrease in unemployment (33%) from pre-program to post-program. 

  • Resilience: All respondents post-launch indicated they either somewhat agree, agree, or strongly agree that the program helped them develop a community of support and better ability to recover quickly from difficulties. 

The most common SDGs ventures believe they are addressing are: Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing & Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. 

25 Global Network members adjudicated the semi-finals pitches, providing feedback and enterprise support to the Fellows. 

636 of students completed their online Queen’s University micro-credentials in Explore Entrepreneurship, Introduction to Design Thinking and High-Performance Teamwork. 

Maryam Atolagbe is the founder of Machoice Nigeria, a manufacture of skin-friendly liquid detergent for dishwashing based near Lagos, Nigeria. “My affiliation with Queen's University in Canada has filled me with pride as a Nigerian. The exposure and opportunities provided by the Fellowship have greatly improved my design thinking and team management skills. Overall, this program has had a profoundly positive impact on my personal and professional development.” 

To read about the winning ventures and the program outcomes, read our annual impact report.