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Legatum and MIT Announce the Creation of Academic Center Dedicated to Development and Entrepreneurship

Submitted by: Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, The

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Sep 17, 2007 – 06:00 AM EST


New Center to Provide Fellowships for Aspiring Entrepreneurs from the Developing WorldCenter to be Funded by a Structured Gift of $50M by Legatum

Sep. 17 /CSRwire/ - CAMBRIDGE, MA, LONDON, DUBAI - September 17, 2007 - Legatum, a private firm that invests in the global financial markets and in initiatives that support sustainable development, today announced a structured gift of $50 million to create a new center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology ("MIT"). The establishment of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship ("LCDE") will support aspiring entrepreneurs from the developing world, who have a strong commitment to development entrepreneurship, helping them to acquire the knowledge and skills required for successful business development and civic leadership around the world.

"The Legatum Center at MIT has been established to provide a launching pad for a new generation of entrepreneurs who want to develop the technologies and skills necessary to operate innovative businesses in a developing market context", said Mark Stoleson, President of Legatum.

The Legatum Center at MIT will help students develop and commercialize new technologies, while exploring the application of practical, enterprise-based solutions to address deep-rooted problems in developing nations. In addition, the Center will provide a venue for competitions and prizes, seminars, workshops, debates and forums, engaging visiting scholars and industry leaders on topics relating to entrepreneurship, leadership and business development.

"MIT has a long and distinguished history of technological innovation and entrepreneurship and is therefore the natural home for this initiative. We hope that over time the Legatum Fellows will be considered among the business leaders of the developing world," added Mr. Stoleson.

MIT and Legatum share the view that providing students with these skills will give them the knowledge and experience they need to become leaders and contribute towards the leaps in development required to establish prosperity among emerging nations.

The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship is now seeking applications for Legatum Fellowships for the 2008 – 2009 academic year from graduate students at MIT. These fellowships will provide support to students who are motivated by a desire to apply their talents to grassroots commercial solutions in developing nations. The Legatum Fellows, drawn from across the five MIT schools, will engage in a cross-faculty program drawing upon the expertise of all of MIT's programs and Laboratories.

"MIT believes that an innovative entrepreneurial approach, practically implemented from the bottom up, provides an effective route to the creation of businesses and jobs, and to meeting essential human needs. MIT has always been committed to making a difference in the world and we believe this new Center continues to help us fulfill that mission." said Phillip L. Clay, Chancellor of MIT.

"We are excited at the opportunity to work with such a successful emerging markets investor as Legatum, which shares a similar dedication to excellence and a belief in the practical application of knowledge as a means of creating opportunity and prosperity in developing nations," continued Chancellor Clay.

Professor Alex (Sandy) Pentland, Director of the Human Dynamics research group at the MIT Media Lab, and a pioneer in mobile information systems, health systems, smart environments, and technology for developing countries, will act as the Faculty Director of the Center.

Iqbal Quadir will serve as the Executive Director of the Center. He founded GrameenPhone, a profitable venture which provides universal telecommunications access in Bangladesh. Before joining MIT, Mr. Quadir taught at Harvard University.

"We seek a balance in the debate on what constitutes effective development, which has traditionally been overwhelmingly out of balance in favor of top-down thinking. By focusing on emerging entrepreneurs, and leveraging technological innovation, the Legatum Center at MIT will spawn a plethora of new business ventures in the developing world," commented Quadir.

"Our ambition is to advance the principle that it is entrepreneurs who most effectively drive organic economic growth."

About Legatum

Legatum's mission is to promote excellence in both global investment and sustainable development. Based in Dubai, with an office in London, Legatum is comprised of four divisions: Legatum Capital, Legatum Global Development ("LGD"), the Legatum Institute for Global Development ("LIGD"), and the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT ("LCDE").

Legatum Capital is a long-term, value-oriented portfolio investor with a special emphasis on global emerging markets. With over twenty years of experience investing proprietary capital, Legatum provides capital to companies and governments across the globe in various industry sectors. The website is located at www.legatum.com

Legatum Global Development promotes global prosperity by applying market-based solutions to long-term development problems. The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship ("LCDE") is part of LGD and is a collaboration between Legatum and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ("MIT") to promote business development and entrepreneurship in the developing world. The website is located at www.legatum.org

The Legatum Institute for Global Development (“LIGD”) is an independent policy, advocacy and advisory organisation, whose mission is to research and promote the principles that drive the creation of global prosperity and the expansion of human liberty. LIGD undertakes original and collaborative research, and publishes case studies and ancillary literature, including the Legatum Prosperity Index. Please visit the website of the Legatum Institute at www.ligd.com; and of the Prosperity Index at www.prosperity.org

The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship ("LCDE") is a collaboration between Legatum and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ("MIT"), in which Legatum has made a significant endowment towards the establishment of Fellowships that will result in innovative businesses promoting sustainable economic growth in developing countries. The website is located at www.lcde.org

About MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- a coeducational, privately endowed research university – is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. The Institute has more than 900 faculty and 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is organized into five Schools -- Architecture and Urban Planning; Engineering; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Sloan School of Management; and Science. The website is located at www.mit.edu

Media contacts

Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Patti Richards
Press Office

Telephone: +1 617 253 8923
Fax: +1 617 258 8762
Email: prichards@mit.edu

Dubai, U.A.E.
Hamish Banks

Telephone: +971 4317 5800
Facsimile: +971 4317 5811
Email: hamish.banks@legatum.com

New York
Oliver Phillips
Brunswick PR

Telephone: +1 212 333 3810
Email: ophillips@brunswickgroup.com

Arwa Husain
Adfactors Public Relations

Telephone: +91 22 2281 3565
Email: arwa.husain@adfactorspr.com

Helen Barnes
Brunswick PR

Telephone: +44 20 7404 5959
Email: hbarnes@brunswickgroup.com

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