Sricharan Balavenkatigari

John Champ High School
Class of 2024

Collaborated with business and development experts to improve the infrastructure and marketing strategy of a business in the developing world.

Created a proposal with viable solutions to address my business partner’s most pressing problems.

Received a grant reviewed by leaders in the fields of business and development to implement solutions for my business partner.

Learn more about Sricharan here.

Sricharan is attending the business program and I chose this program because he wants to develop his skills and learn how to manage a business better. This is because his dream is to own a restaurant chain in the future. Sricharan also wants some practical experience and he believes he can gain that from the International Leadership & Business Internship. Sricharan also wants to do this internship because he wants to gain knowledge from professionals.

Sricharan was in DECA freshman and sophomore year and enjoyed it, although, he took a break from it junior year to focus on his academics. I have taken three years of marketing and business-related classes including, Intro to Business and Marketing, Sports Marketing, and Advanced Marketing. I am also the captain of my Cyberpatriot team ( a cybersecurity competition).

This summer, Sricharan is eager to do an internship because it will provide him with practical experience in the industry he wants to work in and enable him to put the knowledge and abilities he has acquired to use. The internship also provides a special chance to network with professionals and obtain insightful knowledge, thereby opening doors to future job prospects.

Read more about Sricharan’s achievements here.

My Business Consultant Training

Collaborated With A Business In The Developing World


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.

Earned a Development Grant to Enact Solutions


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.

Collaborated With Business Development Experts


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.

Musa Kawu

About Musa

Musa started his gardening journey with Mr. Mamud from Jigawa State after meeting him in Bauchi in 2004. Musa's dedication, attention to detail, and love for flowers attracted him to Mr. Mamud, who became his mentor and taught him everything about gardening.

Gardening has been Musa's passion since he was young, allowing him to connect with nature, appreciate the beauty of plants and flowers, and find fulfillment in watching them grow. However, there are challenges in his job, including the disappointment of plants not thriving, allergies to certain plants or chemicals, and physical strain from demanding tasks. Despite these difficulties, Musa's love for nature and the satisfaction of nurturing plants have kept him dedicated to his gardening business for the past 15 years.

Musa Kawu

Business Goals

One of Musa's dreams is to achieve financial stability and independence for themselves and their family. He aspires to build a successful business that generates consistent income, enabling him to support his family, fulfill their needs, and maintain a comfortable lifestyle.

Musa envisions his gardening business thriving and gaining recognition within the community. He aspires to pass down the business to his children, ensuring a lasting entrepreneurial legacy within his family. As Musa's gardening business grows, he hopes to create job opportunities for others, providing employment to individuals who share his passion for gardening. In doing so, he aims to contribute to the local economy, increase the GDP, and promote overall growth in the community.

Musa Kawu


One day, Musa hopes his gardening business will establish a strong presence in the local market, building a loyal customer base through exceptional service and customer satisfaction. The business aims to expand its range of services and offerings, diversifying into landscape design, installation, maintenance, and plant sales, while embracing sustainable and eco-friendly practices. His goal is to achieve sustainable growth and profitability and actively contribute to the community.

He hopes to embrace technology and innovation. Musa envisions becoming a recognized and trusted brand, known for its expertise, reliability, and commitment to creating beautiful and sustainable outdoor spaces. Finally, Musa hopes his gardening business will grow enough to employ 4 young men from his community to give them an opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty.

Musa Kawu

Family & Home

Musa is a 48-year-old man who lives in the Tashan Babiya community in Bauchi State Nigeria. He is married to one wife and has four children; two boys and two girls, ages 10 through 16. He wakes up every morning to say his prayers while his wife makes breakfast for her children. He bath takes his breakfast and goes to work at his gardening shop. Musa has been struggling for a very long time. They did not have enough food to feed his whole family. Musa's wife does not work she's a full-time housewife and he has taken it upon himself to provide for his family.

Musa developed a deep passion for gardening when he was young. Musa says, Working as a gardener has allowed him to spend time outdoors and connect with the natural world. It provides him an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of plants, owers, and the environment around him. Secondly, Musa Watching plants grow, thrive, and bloom due to his care and efforts has been highly rewarding for him. It gives him a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction to see the fruits of his labor.

Musa Kawu

Our Partnership

Musa lost both of his parents as a child and was unable to receive a proper education, only completing senior secondary school. However, opening up his business has allowed him to turn his life around and grow his family and community. Musa is very excited and honored to partner with Leadership Initiatives. With over 15 years in the gardening business, Musa hopes the amazing ideas from his YDP teams will allow him to expand his business, yield a more excellent profitt, employ more young men, and give back to his community for many more years to come.

Musa says "I am looking forward to working with Leadership Initiatives and the interns which I believe will be a great opportunity and I am super excited to be part of this organization. I hope to contribute positively to the community by reducing unemployment."

My Grant

Our infrastructure team aims to supply the Bauchi demand for cellphone repair by starting a brand new business in the Murtala Muhammad Way, somewhere with high enough foot traffic to bring in a steady stream of prospective customers. Additionally, we plan to supply Jahmadish Global Enterprise with sufficient tools, inventory, generators, padlocks, and financial trackers to ensure a secure and dependable customer environment. We strive to create a micro- business capable of keeping up with the ever- evolving field of technology and continuous expansion to eventually bring more careers to the Bauchi youth and positively impact the economy of the surrounding community.

The extraordinary value of our business lies in Jabir’s uniquely high level of experience combined with his strong customer relationships compared to his competitors. Jahmadish Global Enterprise aims to provide services of the highest possible quality while being affordable to customers. Jabir’s 10 years of experience make him a well-seasoned expert in his field, allowing him to handle any sort of customer issue that may arise, ensuring consistent customer satisfaction.

Our team proposes the implementation of a padlock, and generator, paying for the first year of rent, paying for marketing costs, supplying inventory, the purchase of a computer, and the purchase of the permit and supplies needed to perform repair services

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 Leadership and Business Internship, I worked directly with some of the world’s leading developmental experts in order to build my partners business and brand.

At the conclusion of this internship, our team pitched the final proposal to a panel of esteemed judges from 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.

Internship Highlights

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

We learned more about their life, family, and desires for the proposed business venture, as well as the challenges they were 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.

The on-staff project coordinators and business development experts helped facilitate the ideation process and ensured our team asked the right questions to produce tangible results.

I had the unique opportunity to visit the Swedish Embassy, where I learned about diplomatic relations between Sweden and the United States.

While touring the embassy, I learned about the wide range of policy issues and gained a better understanding of the embassy’s role in international development through sustainable and inclusive initiatives.

The embassy serves as a hub for collaboration with partner countries and international organizations, which facilitates the creation of solutions to address global issues, such as poverty, gender inequality, and climate change.

Swedish diplomats and officials work closely with local communities to identify needs and design programs that empower individuals and enhance overall societal well-being. This community-centered problem-solving is something my team and I aspired towards while crafting our business proposal.

I also visited the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which plays a crucial role in promoting financial stability throughout the world, facilitating trade, and providing financial support to member countries during economic hardship.

For over 50 years, the IMF has provided capacity development programs that drive effective economic management and policy implementation through technical assistance and training.

The IMF’s research-driven policymaking and dedication to sustainable economic management has established it as a key power in addressing global economic issues.

My visit to the IMF was not only educational, but inspiring. It allowed me to see the institution’s pivotal role in advancing international development and how I can implement their ideals into my own work.

Our team met with leading experts in the fields of business and economic development from Johns Hopkins University, the State Department, and GlobalGiving.

One such expert was Carla Brooks, Business and Development Officer at Johns Hopkins Center for Communications Program. She provided us with a crash course in advertising and marketing, in which we learned essential components of an effective marketing campaign.

Our work with Ms. Brooks was essential in preparing us for our culminating pitch deck presentation. With her and other expert guidance, we streamlined our initial ideas to further our efforts in launching the venture our business partner envisioned.

By the end of the week, we had incorporated the advice of leading experts from across the globe for our business proposal to empower and transform the life of our business partner.