Photograph by Bob O'Connor

Fast Talk: MIT's Legatum Center Breeds Entrepreneurs

Nada Hashmi and Jean Pierre Nshimyimana
Fellows, MIT's Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Hashmi and Nshimyimana, 29, are fellows at MIT's Legatum Center, established by GrameenPhone founder Iqbal Z. Quadir to connect aspiring entrepreneurs with technology experts and potential investors.

Hashmi: "My company will bring mobile health-care vans to remote villages, first in Saudi Arabia at the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012, and then to other areas in the Middle East. After attending lectures and speaking with my mentors and colleagues at MIT, I came up with the idea of using the vans not only as a way to distribute health care but also as an advertising vehicle for companies and other entities. That way, we can provide the service free to customers."

Nshimyimana: "I am now developing an environmental engineering consultancy that will provide clean water and green-energy solutions to rural areas, first in Rwanda and then, hopefully, in other developing countries. Legatum has enabled me to understand the practicalities, challenges, and opportunities that exist, and to merge science and business to create a company that really will be able to change things for the better."

Photograph by Bob O'Connor

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  • Alex Stoian

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