Nalituba Mudenda, an entrepreneur from Zambia, Africa, founded Nalipay, a mobile-banking application that provides safe and easy payment options for Zambian residents. To help get his business’ feet off the ground, Mudenda participated in the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship in Iowa City. This past spring, he once again received support through our international business consulting services.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to empower young African leaders through leadership training, networking, and academic coursework. Not only did it empower Mudenda, but it allowed him to turn his idea into a reality.

“The Mandela Washington Fellowship was very beneficial to me and my business. The knowledge I have gained and connections I have made have greatly impacted my professional life and the way I run my businesses.”

Returning home after the Fellowship left Mudenda feeling empowered. “Using the skills I acquired from the program, I came up with two business models to support the entrepreneurship empowerment programs we run in prisons, schools, universities, and the community.”

After participating in the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship, Mudenda continued to receive support from Iowa JPEC and IIB through the international business-consulting program. Through this program, student teams led by experienced faculty provide consulting services based on each individual businesses’ greatest need.

When Mudenda received his consulting team, he introduced his business Nalipay and that he was struggling with customer discovery and product development. With their guidance, he was able to identify his market and collaborate with companies to develop and implement his app in the Zambian market.

“These programs have introduced me to opportunities and knowledge that have greatly impacted my business. With the knowledge I have received from Iowa JPEC and IIB, I am also launching an innovation hub for young students to assist them in turning their idea into a business.”

Nalituba was not the only one who benefited from this program – the students did as well. Anne Riley, a member of Nalituba’s consulting team, looks back fondly on her experience working with him. “This course and my interactions with Nalituba helped build my confidence in my ability to be a team leader, build professional relationships, and achieve big goals. I felt that I was contributing content that could potentially help someone and their community and I realized that I want to find a career where I will be able to have that same feeling.”

The knowledge and assistance Nalituba has received from IIB, the Mandela Washington Fellowship and business-consulting program has been extremely beneficial to furthering his business, Nalipay, and has allowed him to pursue other ventures. This year, he will be launching an innovation hub aimed at students and youth to help them pursue and develop their business ideas. This hub is located on the Copperbelt province, which is the mining hot spot in Zambia for youths, students, and professionals. This hub will assist individuals in turning their ideas into real businesses to help solve local problems while also supporting the local economy. Nalituba is once again leveraging his Iowa JPEC connections, collaborating with the IIB and the Nalituba is once again leveraging his Iowa JPEC connections, collaborating with the IIB and the Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship as he launches the Copperbelt Innovation Hub, which held an inaugural event April 7 at Kansenshi Secondary School of Excellence in Ndola, Zambia, Southern Africa.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. The University of Iowa is a sub-grantee of IREX and is implementing a U.S.-based Leadership Institute as a part of the Fellowship. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, please visit the Fellowship’s website at