The Oxford Foundry and FMDQ Private Markets Limited, Africa’s first vertically integrated financial market infrastructure group have partnered to accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s start-up ecosystem and nurture a future generation of young Nigerian leaders in entrepreneurship, through knowledge exchange and collaboration.  

The OXFO x FMDQ Young Entrepreneurs Leadership Programme (YELP) will offer twenty (20) young emerging Nigerian leaders – to be known as ‘OXFO x FMDQ Young Entrepreneurial Leaders’ – with a bespoke leadership training programme delivered over four months from 25th April 2022 to 26th August 2022.

This online programme requires a commitment of at least 10 hours per month, consisting of: 

  • Roundtable discussions with world-leaders in business and entrepreneurship, 
  • Masterclasses to build essential leadership skills,  
  • Community social events with your peers. 

Key Dates

Application start: Wednesday 1st December 2021 

Application Deadline: Monday 31st January 2022 

Interviews: Monday 7th February to Friday 18th February 2022 

Selected leaders announced: By Friday 25th February 2022 

Programme starts: Monday 25th April 2022 

Programme ends: Friday 26th August 2022 

The purpose is to support the next generation of Nigerian leaders by providing them with the learning, frameworks, multidisciplinary networks, resources, opportunity, and platform to become purpose-driven leaders and build high-growth businesses in the future. 

The motivation of the Oxford Foundry, University of Oxford entrepreneurship centre, and FMDQ, is to open access to the pursuit of entrepreneurial endeavour and create strong exposure and learning on critical skills to help emerging young Nigerian leaders push forward with their entrepreneurial ambitions. Read more about the partnership. 

You can view a summary of the questions being asked in the application form here.

Who can apply for the programme?

The opportunity is open to aspiring young entrepreneurial leaders (aged 21-35 years) based in Nigeria who dare to do what’s right, not what’s easy, to create positive change in their region.  

Leaders must be committed to pursuing transformation in the Nigerian community through their work. They are individuals who are committed to making an impact and are seeking the leadership skills and moral imagination to make it happen. 

The Leaders we seek can be from for-profit, non-profit, or in government entities. We typically look to train leaders with a goal to support the achievement of one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria categorized as follows: 

  • Aspiring Leaders; from for-profit or non-profit organisations that provides critical goods or services. 
  • Intrapreneurs: creating innovative solutions from within an existing institution by shifting its culture; building new collaborations and aligning its objectives to tackle the SDGs. 
  • Organisation builders: supporting the growth of an organisation, institution, or company focused on achieving the SDGs.  
  • Leaders with strong personal integrity, unrelenting perseverance, and moral imagination. 
  • Committed individuals ready to undergo an intensive four-month-long personal transformation and leadership journey. 
  • Individuals of all education levels who can participate in a programme conducted in English and are living in Nigeria.

What is the time commitment?

This is a part-time online commitment consisting of at least 10 hours per month. You can expect your month to comprise:  

  • Roundtable discussions with world leaders in business and entrepreneurship 
  • Masterclasses to help you build essential leadership skills 
  • Online community social events with your peers 

(*Please note*, if selected for this programme you must be able to commit to a minimum of 10 hours per month to the programme training curriculum) 

Are the placements funded?

No. The programme is completely free for selected young Leaders, but you will not be paid.

Where will the placements be?

The YELP programme will be held online using Zoom and communication tools including Slack.

What are the benefits to me?

  • Access influential networks and meet leading professionals: Build your skills through four (4) virtual masterclasses and roundtable discussions delivered by world-class business leaders and accomplished entrepreneurs 
  • Gain leadership skills and insights: Gain the critical leadership skills required for the modern economy, including purposeful leadership, culture and strategy, diversity and inclusion, resilience, social influence, building and leading high performing teams, and much more 
  • Build your professional and personal networks: Build your professional network through the relationships you build with leading professionals  
  • Join a supportive community: Gain access to a strong support community of peers 
  • Boost your CV and gain skills that are in very high demand from employers 
  • Make a difference: Unlock your leadership potential and help make the world a better place by contributing to the SDGs 

How can I apply?

You can apply by completing our online application form. Deadline 23:59 GMT on 31st January 2022.

What is the timeline of the programme?

  1. Stage 1: Online application (1st December 2021 – 31st January 2022) 
  1. Stage 2: Online interview (7th February – 18th February 2022) 
  1. Stage 3: Selection of the 20 leaders (by 25th February 2022) 
  1. Programme starts: Monday 25th April 2022 
  1. Programme ends: Friday 26th August 2022 

What do we look for in an application?

  • Intellectually curious individuals eager to learn and solve problems. 
  • Any relevant work experience to date and skills you have acquired.  
  • Self-driven individuals with aspirations to become a future leader in business, start-ups, venture capital, and/or non-profit organisations. 
  • Impact-focused individuals determined to use the learnings from this experience to help tackle one or more of the SDGs and make the world a better place.

How will the programme conclude?

At the end of the four-month YELP programme, young Leaders will be asked to give an online presentation to summarise their experience and core learnings and future goals to a panel of selected leaders (from business, government, FMDQ, and Oxford University).