The Young Innovation Leaders Fellowship is a platform created by Hutzpa Innovations -- a social enterprise aimed at promoting innovation in communities around the world.


to create a platform to groom excellent leaders.

To achieve this, we set out to identify “the seeds of excellence” – young individuals who have demonstrated outstanding performances in their endeavors. Our platform is designed to inspire them on how to get to more without settling for less. The Y.I.L Fellows have access to life-long mentorship and resources for growth. Our goal in the Y.I.L Fellowship is to create a system to scale up excellence. 


To create the largest platform for innovation leadership in the world.


To raise excellent leaders who can inspire, initiate, manage, and lead innovation in their spheres.


Scaling up excellence.


Seeds of excellence can be implanted, cultivated, and grown

At YIL, we believe that nations are built to sustainability in growth and development when they embrace excellence as a culture. It is our mandate to help nations achieve this. Our approach is to identify seeds of excellence and upscale them. This is what we call “Scaling up Excellence” – a three-stage process that includes: cultivation, implanting, and nurturing. 

To cultivate excellence, nations and organizations must invest in “the platforms of excellence”. These platforms are the basic structures upon which seeds of excellence can be implanted. In a societal context, this would mean building common infrastructures such as policies, programmes, organisations, and systems that can enhance the productivity and competitive advantage of innovation. With the YIL Fellowship, we have designed a fantastic training programme that brilliantly combines the practice and science of innovation for the total training experience of our young professionals.

To implant excellence, it is imperative to discover what we refer to as “the seeds of excellence”. Seeds are not ubiquitous. Also, they are not meant to be consumed but planted. A prominent challenge in establishing excellence in developing countries is that seeds of excellence are not always planted, rather they are, oftentimes, quickly consumed. Seeds of excellence in the societal context are outstanding talents and strong potentials in sports, music, sciences, technology, and in the arts. Amidst harsh realities, such talents are not always harnessed and refined into skills for global excellence. YIL addresses this by carefully identifying talents across all disciplines and immersing them into an experience of a lifetime which changes their worldview and shifts their mental model to see only opportunities in difficult situations. 

The third stage in scaling up excellence is the nurture of the “plants of excellence”. As seeds germinate, they need to be watered, weeded, and pruned to flower well and yield the most and best fruits. This is a strategic imperative to produce results from the efforts and investments made in the cultivation and planting of excellence. Outstanding talents must be guided and mentored to discover and optimize their best potentials. YIL Fellowship understands that in today’s competitive and fast-paced world, mentorship structures are highly required to get to the inflection point of innovation excellence. This is why we assign each participant and team a mentor who will guide them through their projects and career.

Over the years, we have gained some mastery in scaling up innovation excellence in the society and in the lives of individuals. YIL believes that young people – especially those in resource-poor communities and minorities – should be trained to create solutions to their own problems. We will achieve this when we have raised a critical mass of people in any society to think more of production than consumption.lection point of global excellence.

The Problem We Want to Solve

Despite its endowment with vast wealth of human talent, sub-Saharan Africa ranks low in the Global Human Capital Index. This tells that the human potential is largely unrealized and unprepared for the future and the future of work. Times are changing. In this Age of fast-paced Innovation, there is need to foster a revolution in our educational systems where greater attention is focused on unleashing and delivering our talent potential by properly harnessing the ingenuity and creativity at our collective disposal.