- IMD Business School
Leadership - Diversity and Equity and Inclusion

BackPack Foundation’s IMD MBA scholarship to support women leaders of the future

The scholarship aims to provide a transformational experience to women who have been forced to flee conflict, natural disaster or persecution at some point in their lives, and may have believed that an MBA program was out of reach
June 2022

With the 2022 launch of the BackPack-Excellence Scholarship for Women, the Swiss foundation intends to help talented and driven women who have been displaced because of conflict, natural disaster, or persecution of their beliefs to obtain the leadership skills they need to advance in business or public life.

The aim of the scholarship is to give a woman who may have an atypical profile or background for an MBA candidate the chance to fulfil her leadership ambitions and gain valuable business and leadership skills.

“Nurturing women who against the odds dare to make a difference is at the heart of the BackPack Foundation’s values,” the BackPack Foundation Board said in a statement. “Through the BackPack-Excellence Scholarship for Women, we aim to contribute to the pursuit of a fairer and freer society by giving one scholar at a time the confidence and leadership skills to realize their goals.”

The BackPack-Excellence Scholarship for Women will award one scholar CHF 133,500 to cover the full tuition fees and living expenses of the IMD MBA program. Priority will be given to female candidates who have experienced the hardship of being forced to leave their homeland due to conflict or natural disaster, or because they were persecuted for their beliefs.

“The successful applicant should be committed to pursuing a meaningful career in leadership, and upon graduation will be expected to draw upon her skills to catalyze positive change,” said the Board’s statement. “Beyond contributing to the fulfilment of one purposeful leadership career at a time, Backpack’s aspires to attract women who can become pivotal leaders in their field, acting as role models for others to advance in business or in public life.”

IMD plans to implement a mentoring process to provide support and advice to the successful candidate.

The deadline to apply for the BackPack-Excellence Scholarship for Women is 1 September, 2022. Candidates should apply for the BackPack-Excellence Women Scholarship in parallel to their MBA application by completing the online form and submitting the required documentation. In addition, candidates are asked to provide a 500-word essay on the following title: Tell us, how, as a displaced woman, an MBA at IMD will be transformative for you and indirectly for other women.

“This scholarship has the potential to transform the recipient’s life and help them develop the leadership abilities which will allow them to have an impact in the future,” said Professor Omar Toulan, Dean of the IMD MBA program.

“We encourage applications from all women who have been displaced and particularly from those who may have not previously considered an MBA, based on their unique background, economic situation, or other circumstances. We ask those who may know someone who could benefit from such an opportunity to please spread the word.”

Please contact [email protected] to find out more information about the scholarship.

The IMD MBA BackPack-Excellence for Women will be managed and administered by the IMD Scholarship Foundation, established in accordance with Articles 80 of the Swiss Civil Code, with a registered office in Lausanne. The scholarship will be paid directly to IMD to cover the fees.