Interned with Leadership Initiatives to improve a business in the developing world.

Consulted with CEOs and marketing experts to develop viable solutions for a business in Bauchi State, Nigeria.

Received a grant reviewed by leaders from Exxon, The United Nations, and the Nigerian Embassy to implement solutions for my business partner.

Olivia Pugliese

Glen Rock High School

Class of 2023

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Read more about Fuego's achievements here.

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Collaborated With A Business In The Developing World

Earned a Development Grant to Enact Solutions

Collaborated With Business Development Experts


Our team reviewed the economic, social, political, and environmental factors that impact our partner business to design a launch plan and identify how to bridge the gap between our business partner’s current and desired conditions.


In order to fund the proposed business, our team composed a detailed plan and pitched our proposal to request seed funding from the Leadership Initiatives Grant Committee.


After researching the socio-economic conditions facing our business partners, our team worked with the Nigerian development staff to create effective solutions to the challenges our business partner was facing.

My Business Consultant Training

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Quick Facts

About Hajara

Business Goals

Family & Home

Our Partnership

Hajara Isa

Quick Facts

Business Partner Age: 30 years old

Business Partners Current Living Place: Ibrahim Bako, Bauchi, Bauchi Nigeria

Marital Status: Married

Spouse Name: Annas Haliru

Children: Khadija Annas, Female, 4 years old & Hafsat Annas, Female, 1 year old

Type of Business: Hair Dressing & Salon Business

Years Working: 2 years

Top Problems: 1) Lack of the proper equipment, 2) Inconsistent electrical power supplies, 3) No advertising materials, low customer base, and 4) No shop location

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Hajara has always been interested in becoming a hairdresser. She loves the craft because she believes it is an important part of body hygiene and it makes people feel confident and good about themselves.

Hajara's husband struggles to provide for the family. Hajara needed money to further her education and pay for transportation, so she jumped at the opportunity to become a hairdresser. She was an apprentice for a year, and now she gets paid on commission. She hopes to own a fully functioning hair salon where she can continue to make people happy!

Hajara says that "being successful to me is being an employer of labor, a mother with children making impact in different fields because they are professionals in those areas, and completing my education and starting to run my own business!"

About Hajara

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Hajara hopes that one day her hair dressing salon business will be a hub where young girls in her community will find support to financially stand on their feet, breaking away from the circle of poverty, and be able to support their families and afford an education. She also hopes that she and her business will develop to become a brand that her community is proud of.

Business Goals

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Hajara a 30-year-old woman who lives with her husband, a small-time businessman, and her two daughters. Every morning, she wakes up, gets her older daughter ready to go to school, and then heads to a college of education herself where she studies "Nutrition & Dietetics".

After school, she works at the salon and gets paid based on commissions. Unfortunately, Hajara's husband's business does not generate enough income for their family's needs, so she has to work on a commission base to support her husband and pay for her school expenses.

Family & Home

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Hajara "feels lucky to be a part of this organization that empowers others (and cares for women) and I hope to be a good ambassador of the organization everywhere I go, especially to support others to stand on their feet just like the way they support me!

Hajara wants to create an established business with a recognizable brand in her community. She wants to learn how to manage her business well and be her own boss. Hajara would like to use her business to employ others in her community to give them jobs. She hopes that her business can support her husband and pay for her children's education.

Our Partnership

The fundamental ambition for Ms. Hajara Isah’s hair salon is to become a reliable hair styling and services business that the women and children of the Ibrahim Bako Bauchi area can truly feel comfortable and welcomed in. With the help of Leadership Initiatives, our team’s goal is to make Ms. Isah’s dream become a reality by providing the needed support, funds, advertising, and infrastructure to establish her business. Ms. Isah is motivated to start a business so she can be her own boss, employ and empower members of her community, and better provide for her family.

Hajara Isah is a wife, mother of two young children, and student attending university for diet and nutrition who lives in Bauchi State, Nigeria. Currently, her family is not bringing in enough income to support themselves and is in need of an additional source of support. Hajara is an apprentice at a hair salon in the city area of her town, but she now feels she is ready to start her own independent business. Hajara is looking to make additional money to support her family and provide a platform to assist local women with their overall hair health and hygiene. Most of all, Hajara wishes to empower other young women living in her area to follow their dreams and take pride in themselves and their beauty and strength.

Hajara is looking to provide a convenient and personable hair salon for her area that allows her to make additional money to support her family. Along with the financial benefits, Hajara wants to assist local women with their overall hair health and hygiene while improving their confidence and self esteem. By taking risks and becoming an entrepreneur, Hajara hopes to be a role model that inspires other women in her community to follow in her footsteps and follow their dreams.

My Grant Proposal

Leadership Initiatives is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating future leaders across the globe through experiential learning.

In the International Business & Development Internship, I worked directly with some of the world’s leading business and development experts to learn about international business and development.

View my grant presentation here.

My Grant Proposal Presentation

At the conclusion of the internship, I presented my grant proposal to a panel of distinguished judges.

Internship Highlights

Business Meeting

Swedish Embassy

Expert Assistance

Development Experts

Our team began the business development process by having a one-on-one Zoom call directly with our business partner, Hajara Isa, and Nigerian project coordinator to ensure productive collaboration.

We learned more about her life, family, and desires for the proposed business venture, as well as the challenges she was facing.

By discussing first-hand the challenges our partner faced, our team successfully and efficiently began to brainstorm solutions to launch her business.

Each morning we held constructive discussions about our ideas, the advice we received the day before, and the timeline necessary to begin implementing our ideas in real-time.

I had the unique opportunity to visit the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, DC, where I learned about Sweden and its diplomatic relationship with the United States.

The current ambassador of the Swedish Embassy is Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter, who is Sweden’s first female ambassador to the United States.

While we toured the embassy, we also learned about a wide range of policy issues including climate and sustainability, trade, security and democracy, gender equality, freedom of speech and culture.

Our team met with leading experts in the field of business and economic development from the State Department, Exxon, Harvard University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, and top US companies and nonprofits.

These leaders included Dr. Sarah Stiles, Professor and Provost at Georgetown University, and Carla Brooks, a marketing leader and advertising expert at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication

With their guidance, we streamlined our initial ideas to further our efforts in launching the venture our business partner envisioned.

Our team advanced our communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills through hands-on project management and development.

Our team pitched the final proposal to a panel of expert judges from Harvard University, the Leadership Initiatives Nigerian Development Team, and the Leadership Initiatives Grant Committee.

This formal pitch allowed our team to practice our skills and utilize our entrepreneurial toolkit, all while showcasing our efforts to transform the business we partnered with.

At the end of the pitch, we were able to receive feedback on our proposal for our business partner.

Over the next year, our business partner’s venture will be made into reality and monitored for sustained success and growth.