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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development, International, International Development, Leadership Development

Mission: Leadership Initiatives improves communities worldwide by empowering their university students to design creative, effective and sustainable development projects. Through our service initiatives, we prepare these students to utilize local resources, engage the community, and implement sustainable solutions to the problems of underdevelopment.

Results: Since 2008, Leadership Initiatives has developed 41 different businesses which employ 8 people on average. Other accomplishments of Leadership Initiatives include an expansion into Kogi State, Nigeria due to a $100,000 grant from the A3 Foundation. The Orphan Care Program, Fish Farming Centers, Autorepair shops, Skills Acquisition Initiatives, Computer Literacy programs have changed thousands of lives. These projects have allowed daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews to receive an education because a family member is now employed by a business created through Leadership Initiatives.

Geographic areas served: Developing Communities around the world with a current focus on Nigeria.

Programs: Leadership Initiatives has advanced through the many Microprojects, which serve to better the Nigerian community. These programs include developing businesses and creating jobs in Nigeria, consequently allowing families to have the means to send their children to school. Leadership Initiatives not only has volunteers on the ground in Nigeria, but also receives support from American high school students. The International Business Alliance Program selects a certain amount of students per year to participate in this program, which allows high school students to partake in the development of the many businesses in Nigeria. In exchange these students receive assistance in their college and scholarship application process as well as SAT and ACT tutoring. The programs led by Leadership Initiatives serve to provide a steady income for Nigerian families as well as to promote leadership and critical thinking skills among the youth in the United States.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

My commitment to Leadership Initiatives (LI) grew exponentially when I realized that the businesses that LI had helped to create turned into engines of community development. The businesses are not only succeeding but are building infrastructure in their own communities, are creating orphanages to fill in for absent social services, and are faithful donors to LI as well as volunteers to one another. LI demonstrates the achievements that can be accomplished by committed volunteers working with dedicated international grass-roots entrepreneurs and local micro-financing from community middle-class sources. By partnering U.S. students with the local entrepreneurs to provide help as project managers and fund-raisers, LI is creating a learning opportunity that gives our next generation of Americans a powerful understanding of grass-roots business development and international exposure. Training for the local entrepreneurs includes skills, leadership, and financial classes to ensure not only success in the short-run, but sustainable growth in the future.


Rating: 5

I have been working with Leadership Initiatives for a number of years as one of the many dedicated volunteer staff members that believe in the vision and projects of the organization. Leadership Initiatives is an organization that succeeds in engaging the local community and budding leadership in a region to generate sustainable projects.


Rating: 5

Jo Ann Marie
As a teacher with 39 years in the public school system I applaud Leadership Initiatives Sister School Programs. These programs provide innovative educational opportunities in our schools with a positive impact that engage administrators, students, their families and their communities.

LI Sister School Programs assist students in the development of character, motivation, and purpose. These Sister school programs foster cross-cultural collaboration that strengthens budding leaders of the future across international boundaries.


Rating: 5

Having spent many years living in developing nations, I have been impressed by the model of sustainable economic development put forward by Leadership Initiatives. The model builds entrepreneurial leaders at a community level, taking local entrepreneurs through a process of identifying a business/service that is needed, developing a business plan, and raising the necessary funding from within their community. The results are sustainable businesses that empower individuals and their communities to invest in their futures. The success of the new businesses and the willingness of successful entrepreneurs to reinvest in new projects is a compelling model that I feel proud to support.