The EWB Fellowship

See work differently

Redefine your 9-5

Use your skills and experience to help socially-minded startups grow their businesses

Social ventures are reshaping the systems in which they work by applying innovation and passion to their everyday — you can too.

The EWB Fellowship is designed to help Canadian professionals gain experience working and living in emerging markets, and match social enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa with the essential talent they need to grow and scale.


Since 2001, the EWB Fellowship has built a community of active and impassioned Systems Change Leaders working with African innovators to eradicate global poverty.

Every year, we recruit 30 Fellows for 12-month contracts, placing Fellows in innovative startups in Ghana, Uganda and Kenya.

We source Fellows from a range of professional, technical, and educational backgrounds and equip them with the skills and opportunities required to play a critical role in building a thriving, sustainable world.

A day in the life

Hear from past EWB Fellows


Key Dates

Dates are broken up by our two cohort groups per year.

May 2019

Applications open: December 3, 2018
Applications close: December 31, 2018
Pre-departure training starts: April 15 , 2019
Pre-departure ends: April 26, 2019
Contract ends: May 2020

*all dates subject to change

September 2019

Applications open: June 2019
Pre-departure training begins: September 2019
Contract ends: September 2021

*all dates subject to change


Frequently asked questions abut the EWB Fellowship program.

Who is eligible for EWB's long-term fellowship program?

In order to participate, you must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident. You must also have graduated from a post-secondary institution.

Not a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident? Consider our Kumvana Program, which recruits dynamic African professionals to participate in a leadership development program. 

How much do fellows get paid?

The program is costs covered. All costs relating to the placement are either paid for directly by EWB (airfare, insurance, vaccinations, trainings) or indirectly through a living stipend, which covers basic living expenses (food, accommodation, local travel) for a modest lifestyle in your placement country. Fellows also receive an honorarium upon completing their 12 month contract, to assist with repatriation costs in Canada. While it is not likely that you will be able to use the stipend to cover previous expenses (ex. student loans), EWB will support you in extending the non-repayment period on student loans as much as possible.

Additionally, EWB offers a range of benefits including insurance, a settlement allowance, professional development opportunities, and more.

I’m interested in a couple of roles. Can I apply for more than one?

Yes! We highly encourage applicants to apply for more than one role as this is a highly competitive program.

I want to apply but I can’t commit to 12 months. Are there shorter placements?

Currently, we only offer 12-month placements, as we want to ensure fellows have as much impact as possible working with their organization.

I want to apply but the timing isn’t right. When is your next application round?

We open applications three times a year. Explore key program dates.

Want to receive an alert when we open the next round of applications? Sign up here!

What qualities are you looking for in applicants?

We hire for similar profiles for each round: tech talent, business and finance professionals, communications, marketing & fundraising professionals, and Engineers.

We’re looking for critical thinkers and open minds. Successful candidates should be able to demonstrate that they can learn quickly, adapt to changing circumstances, and aren’t intimidated by difficult tasks that they might not have experience solving.

You like to ask hard questions and get your hands dirty. You want to be a part of innovative local solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. You’re excited to meet new people, and spend a year living and working in a vibrant city in sub-Saharan Africa.

Want to learn more? Meet some of our fellows.

Are these opportunities only for Engineers?

No! We are looking for candidates with a wide range of skills and experience, as you can see reflected in our job descriptions.

Are you a natural storyteller who thrives on developing communications? Have a background in business? Great! We’re looking for tech talent, business and finance professionals, communications, marketing & fundraising professionals, and Engineers!

Explore all available opportunities, here.

Why are there so few Engineering roles available?

We are hiring Engineers! Explore the Lead Mechanical Design Engineer role with Aspire Food Group in Ghana.

If you look back through our history, you’ll see that EWB was founded on the premise of ‘engineers doing good for the world via access to technology.’ However, we have since expanded our efforts to focus on the human systems that perpetuate poverty and inequality in the world and broadened the expertise of our ventures and partner organizations as a result.

We now act as an incubator for social change. We support early-stage, highly scalable, innovative social enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa that create systemic change and social impact. We provide our ventures and partner organizations with the financial and human capital they need to scale and grow.

The fellowship roles available vary each application round, as they are created by our ventures and partner organizations based on current capacity gaps. In any given round, some partner organizations are looking to fill Engineering roles, while others are in need of business acumen or tech talent.

However, we’re confident that Engineering skills are transferable to a wide range of roles. We encourage all candidates to apply for multiple purposes.

What support will I receive during my placement?

You’ll receive support from EWB in Canada and in your placement country before, during and after your placement.

The Fellowship program includes:

  • A three-week pre-departure leadership training program in Toronto
  • An orientation program upon arrival in placement country
  • Professional development retreats organized by EWB (typically held in July and November)
  • Comprehensive health, safety, and wellness support (including regular check-ins with EWB staff and health insurance)
  • Direct management and coaching from ventures

As an EWB Fellow, you’ll also be joining a vibrant global community of EWBers!

  • Side note: You’ll be in a vibrant city, supportive community, make lifelong friends
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