What We Do
Leadership InitiativesLeadership Initiatives (LI) empowers underdeveloped communities to address their own needs by partnering with local government and business leaders to provide promising individuals with entrepreneurial, leadership, and project management training. These leaders are able to identify obstacles, develop solutions, and create new businesses to empower themselves and their communities.
Short term objective: Train local leaders to create sustainable solutions to existing community problems.
Long term objective: Develop a generation of leaders that are poised to empower entire nations.
Real World Application
Twice a year Leadership Initiatives teaches a business creation course for developing communities in Nigeria. In 2008 Leadership Initiatives taught a new course in Yelwan Makaranta, yielding sustainable change that are still being carried out to this day.
In the community of Yelwan Makaranta and throughout the Bauchi State, the vast majority of the population are employed in the informal economy as traders. Without specialized skills or training, most individuals have little opportunity to ever achieve economic independence. Noticing the high rate of unemployment in Yelwan Makaranta, Leadership Initiatives saw an opportunity to infuse the community with sorely needed skills and income and organized a meeting with community elders to identify the best way to move forward.
Through interviews with prospective participants, LI selected a business creation class of 20 entrepreneurs. Over the course of the next three months, these students participated in classes three days a week for two and a half hours each, gaining management, advertising, accounting and leadership development. The classes were conducted at night to allow for participants to continue their work while also taking part in the program. Graduates of the course identified businesses that the community needed and could support; examples include tailoring, motorcycle repair, and welding shops.
Program participants were then given apprenticeships with experienced tradesman for the next six months to help them to gain the skills needed to run each of their perspective businesses. Individual LI donors funded the training courses and a combination of LI donors and local investors provided start-up capital to equip each graduate with the necessary tools to pursue their new business.
Sixteen Yelwan Makaranta community leaders became fully trained in their respective trades and created six independent businesses across the state of Bauchi.
Since most Bauchi citizens don’t have vehicles of their own, our newly trained mechanics provide essential repair services for the motorcycle taxis serving every sector of the city. Our tailors provide affordable custom tailoring, a service previously unavailable within the community. The need for competent welding is so great within the region that our newly trained welders already have a six-month backlog of work and dozens of young adults are applying to be similarly trained. All graduates are now providing vital services within the greater community and the income they generate has raised the standard of living for both their immediate and extended families.
In the short term these businesses provided jobs to community leaders in need of employment and affordable solutions to existing community problems.
In the long term these community leaders become business owners, hired additional people from the community to work in their shops and brought slow but incredible change to their community. This process is then repeated as other members within the community see the potential for growth and want to be a part of it.
These new incomes allowed the business owners’ children and their employees’ children to attend school, and allow other supporting businesses to grow which resulted in more motorcycle taxi services, new home repair businesses and specialized tailoring shops.
Finally, these leaders gained both experience and substantial incomes, allowing them to lead their communities into the future, fund other local business ventures, and become beacons of hope and change to their community.
Our students learn leadership skills & create locally sustainable businesses.
We are diverse, independent leaders dedicated to creating lasting change.
Learn how LI started and how we are changing the world together!
Leadership Initiatives works: the stories, faces and numbers that prove it.