Life Changing Stories Through Community Development
Transformation Right Before Our Eyes
Our time in the field gives us a personal view on why business creation matters.
The mothers, fathers, children and communities that we’ve met inspire our ideas and, often times, solutions.
Every one of them has a story worth sharing.
Here are just a few examples of them!
Business Owner Example
Personal Story of Sani Abdu Fish Farm Owner:
Sani Abdu was born in 1967 in Birshi village. Married and with thirteen children, he has spent most of his life working as a subsistence farmer in Birshi village. He was barely able to provide enough for his large family until he became involved with Leadership Initiatives’ Business Creation Program.
Sani was already a respected community leader, mentor and subsistence farmer, but he had often thought about how he could improve the life of not only his family but that of many other local citizens by creating a fish farming initiative within his community. He unfortunately lacked the resources and business acumen to realize his goal.
When Leadership Initiatives came to his community in 2008, Sani pushed to become part of the program and prove that his idea for local fish farming could make nutritious food affordable for his surrounding community. He also knew that his idea could help to alleviate the vitamin deficiencies his children and community members were facing.
After months of business management training, refining his idea for a local fish farm, and working to build support among his local community, Sani was given funding for his Fish Farming initiative through Leadership Initiatives. Once funding was provided, Sani, his partners and staff underwent intensive training on how to properly run a fish farm and in early 2009 opened up his community’s first fish farming business.
Today, Sani’s fish farm provides employment for twelve individuals and thirty two family members of Sani and his employees. Prior to L.I.’s intervention, sending his children to school was a fading dream. Now, seven of Sani’s children attend school along with 17 of his employees’ children. What was once only a dream has become a reality, inspiring hope and paving the way for new goals for his entire community.
Personal Story of Musa Abdullahi Employee of LI created Irrigation Farm
Musa Abdullahi worked hard doing any odd job he could to support his wife and five children. Three years ago, when Shehu created his irrigation farm with Leadership Initiatives, Musa was one of his first hires. Over the years of working on the irrigation farm with Shehu, Musa’s salary has grown and he can now take care of his entire family. Musa has grown not only as an employee, but also as a leader among his peers, training new workers and working to create better harvesting techniques for the farm.
Two of his children have graduated from secondary school while the other 3 are in primary school. All of his children plan to attend school and even University thanks to their father’s support.
Musa has also become a shoulder for his family to lean on, offering his new home for friends and family and offering to assist with their doctor bills when they fall ill. He is able to do this because of the income he earns on the farm.
Musa plans to continue working on the farm with Shehu and has been inspired to use the expertise he has learned working on the farm to create a small business of his own, helping him to earn extra income and send his children to University.
Community Investor Example
Personal Story of Zulihat Yakubu Investor in the Maslaha Beauty Salon:
Zulihat Yakubu has been friends with Fatima Suleiman, owner of the Maslaha Beauty Salon, for over three years now, since she and her family moved to Bauchi. Zulihat and Fatima are from the same state, helping them form a strong friendship. When Fatima joined the Leadership Initiatives Business Creation Program and finished her business management training, she had a dream to start a Salon Business.
Zulihat invested N50,000 (about USD$300) to support her idea for a high end Salon for Bauchi. This investment not only further strengthened their relationship, but Zulihat also patronized Fatima’s salon frequently and even invited other friends of hers to use her services too. This allowed Fatima’s business to grow, and provide jobs and a new service to her community. Currently, Fatima’s salon employs five women who can now afford to send 8 of their children to school.
Community Need and Re-Investment Example
Personal Story of Danliti Abdullahi Shoemaking Business Owner
This has allowed Danliti to grow his business and hire additional employees, which has brought his business community support, while also improving the community itself. Some months he receives local orders to make 500 -1000 shoes in addition to his usual orders because of his dedication to creating high quality footwear. Danliti has also beat foreign competition by offering repair policies for his footwear that larger outside companies do not, allowing him to compete at an unprecedented level. Because of this, thousands of dollars are kept within his community and reinvested, allowing local dollars and funding to continue to transform lives.
Examples of Children Attending School Because of Business Support
Personal Story of Yahuza Abdullahi
Yahuza Abdullahi is the stepbrother of Abdulmalik, owner of the LI sponsored Cobbling shop. Yahuza’s education was taken care of by their father until he passed away at an early age. However, after his father’s passing, Yahuza and his mother could not afford to pay for his schooling fees and his brother stepped in to help.
Abdulmalik has been paying his tuition for several years now, and Yahuza has not only graduated primary and secondary school but is now in his final year at the polytechnic. After his Diploma, Yahuza plans to go into roofing and advanced home repair, a service and skill his community desperately needs.
Personal Story of Kabiru Ibrahim
Kabiru Ibrahim is in his 3rd year in high school and is an employee of Hamza welding. Kabiru is thrilled at the opportunity he has to learn the skill of welding and to also be able to make some income for himself.
After school every day, Kabiru runs to the welding shop to help out in any way he can. Though his responsibilities are still limited to the level of his training in the welding skill, Kabiru is very much happy to be a part of the team.
Prior to his welding training opportunity, he stayed home with his parents and did not have the ability to afford school tuition. Now, he gets paid a little stipend for his services, taking care of his education. For this, Kabiru and his parents are very grateful.
Kabiru hopes to become very good at welding someday soon, therefore becoming able to take on more tasks and make more money to give back to his family and community.
Examples of Orphans Attending School and Receiving Skills Training Because of Business Support
Personal Story of Jamil Shaibu Orphan supported by LI’s Cobbling Business
Jamil Shaibu has been with Danliti since he lost his father four years ago. Jamil Shaibu has been with Danliti for about 4 years since he lost his father. Jamil was brought to learn the cobbling skill with Danliti, and Danliti liked him because of his commitment to hard work.
Danliti began to inquire about his family, his future plans and the challenges that he faced. After Jamil told him how he had had to stop school because his mother could not afford it, Danliti opted to pay for his fees and give him some extra money for his welfare.
Jamil still works at the cobbling shop, learning more about the skill while also attending school during the day and helping his mother and siblings as much as he can.
Personal Story of Suleiman Nassiru Orphan Supported By LI’s Irrigation Business
Suleiman Nasiru is a 3 year old boy who lost his parents two years ago due to illness, and has been staying with Shehu ever since. Suleiman’s father was Shehu’s cousin, so after Suleiman’s parents passed on, Shehu took him in and took responsibility for the boy.
Suleiman has been well fed, clothed and provided for, and though he has not started school yet, Shehu plans to put him in school in a few months. Shehu is honored to support his nephew’s life using the income from his business and continue to support eighteen other children attending school with the profits from his business.
See how this program transforms communities one life at a time!
Learn how students from across the globe are helping these businesses solve development problems they are facing
Leadership Initiatives works: Here are the cold hard numbers that prove it.
Set up at time to speak with a business owner, employee, LI staff member, funder, student or orphan benefiting from the program directly!