Dear Amazing Leadership Initiatives and Respective Donors,
For one week I was granted an amazing opportunity to attend the Leadership Initiatives Business Summit at Georgetown University. During that week, we collaborated in groups that were made up of between 3-4 students and proposed solutions to struggling businesses in Nigeria to help increase their profits. At the conclusion of the week, my peers and I observed as each team presented their ideas to a panel of judges, which included LI representatives. One group presentation addressed the problems facing a small orphanage in Nigeria.
The main problem the team of students worked on during the week was addressing the orphans lack of materials. The children in the orphanage range from ages 6-11 years old and are still learning basic skills. In addition to the orphans young age, it is also very difficult for teachers and those assisting in the orphanage to effectively teach the students if they do not have the necessary resources to get a strong education. The LI students came up with a learning book that would assist the students in basic skills such as writing, the alphabet, numbers, colors and shapes. The LI students emphasized the importance of repetition, tracing, and color association which is essential in all children learning criteria in order to be successful. The book would also be written in the orphan’s native language, but teach the student english as well. One aspect of the LI team’s book layout that was truly spectacular and perfect for the orphanage was the design of the front cover. The students created a cover page that would have a picture, in color, of the students face and name; the cover would say “This book belongs to:”. This idea was a perfect fit for the orphanage as many of the children lack a sense of belonging and ownership. In addition to a sense of ownership, it would also give the orphans a deeper connection to their education if they have a specific book that belongs to them.
With your help, the orphans are able to continue their apprenticeships, which allows them to master specific skills in order for them to successfully integrate into society, while also earning set wages. This also allows the orphans to be active participants and contributors to their communities. As a direct result of generous donations, the LI team is able to help hundreds of small developing businesses and improve communities throughout Nigeria.
The LI Change team
Dear committed Leadership Initiatives donor,
Students that attended the International Business Summit this year at Georgetown University, worked with a series of professionals and mentors to solve problems facing small, developing businesses in Nigeria. One team, made up of 5 students, worked collaboratively throughout the week to help a catering business owned by a young woman named Rabi. Rabi is 20 years old and graduated from secondary school just three years ago. She works at her catering business six days a week to provide for her four siblings and both her parents.
The team of students decided to focus on 3 main problems: Financial management, new recipes, and advertising. Their first focus was creating a way for Rabi to keep track of her income, expenses, and profits. The team created 3 spreadsheets to keep track of her financials, where each spreadsheet would target a specific financial category. For example, there was one spreadsheet for all the money Rabi spends, another for all the money she makes from selling pastries and the last spreadsheet was for profits. All these sheets would be printed out and put in a binder for organization. The next problem that the team addressed was finding new recipes for Rabi to add to her menu. The group of students created both digital copies and hard copies of the recipes and techniques , therefore Rabi would have easy access to them. The team even found video tutorials to ensure Rabi understood each step of the recipes. The last problem the team solved was they needed a method to attract new customers as all Rabi’s current customers only knew of her business by “word of mouth”. The team decided to design business cards and a banner to catch the eye of customers as they walk by. One of the team's most creative idea was to create a customer feedback survey, where people who buy pastries from Rabi would volunteer to fill out a form asking about the service and in return they would acquire a free pastry.
Rabi works hard everyday in order to support her large family. Rabi learned how to cook from her older sisters when she was younger and as a result, Rabi would like to help train young women in her community to cook in the future. Like all of Leadership Initiatives’ business owners, Rabi is incredibly grateful for this experience and is excited for the changes that will be implemented in her business. Thank you for your charitable donations as they have contributed to the progress the LI Team and business partners have made so far. If you would like to read more stories like Rabi’s, check them out at liempower.org.
The Leadership Initiative Team
My name is Ashley and throughout the last year and a half I have worked with the International Business Internship Program and Business Summit to improve communities in Nigeria. I attended the Business Summit this summer in Washington, D.C where my team worked with Muhammad, the owner of an irrigation farm, to solve the business’s major challenges. With the help of my team and many mentors like Simon Limage, Former-Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation Programs at State Department and Sarah C. Stiles, a professor at Georgetown University, my team and I were able to solve 3 problems facing our partners farm. At the end of the Business Summit, we presented our solutions to a panel of judges which included professionals like Ahmed S. Mohammed, the Director of Talent Acquisition, Dartmouth College and Stella Onuoha, a United States Ambassador.
As a result of your generous donations, the LI team is able to continue helping Nigerian business partners similar to Muhammad and his farm. The farm has been in his family for generations and was recently inherited by Muhammad. With the help of his children, Muhammad is able to run his 1 hectare land focusing on 3 major crops: onions, peppers and casava.
Muhammad’s farm supplies fresh produce to regular customers and additional members of his communities through both a market in Bauchi State and his farm in Wuro Goggo, Nigeria. Muhammad regularly bikes to the popular market in order to sell his produce and to promote his farm. Through these profits he makes each month, he returns the majority back into seeds and other supplies for the farm. Muhammad also uses the revenue to support his multiple children and extended family. This summer, my team and I proposed solutions to address Muhammad’s major problems in order to increase seasonal profits and productivity. As mentioned by our team member Rachel, “this program means more to us than just coming up with solutions, it's about helping Muhammad better support his family”. Nearly 30 people in Wuro Goggo already depend on his farm for food and many more once our approved solutions are implemented.
On behalf of the LI Change family and Muhammad, I would like to thank you for your charitable donations and for giving us the opportunity to assist a growing business. Through your contributions LI will be able to benefit many other businesses similar to Muhammad’s farm and continue to have a positive impact on the surrounding communities. To read about more stories like Muhammad’s, you can access other teams and projects through the new Leadership Initiatives website at liempower.org.