The International Business & Development Internship

Leadership Initiatives is working to end extreme poverty in Northern Nigeria through entrepreneurship and innovation. As part of the International Business & Development program, Leadership Initiatives identifies small business owners for our program who live under $1.90 a day, have little formal business education, and struggle to provide for their family’s basic needs.

Once business owners have completed training, Leadership Initiatives pairs International Business & Development interns with a business partner and business mentor. Interns are given the opportunity to help tackle major issues at the grassroots level by working directly with small business owners to support and incubate local entrepreneurs. Students will work with Leadership Initiatives staff over the course of nine months to provide income-generating solutions that focus on food supply, women empowerment, environment and sustainability, personal care, and mobility.

The International Business & Development Internship aims to introduce interns to the complexities and challenges of running a small business and working within community development. Interns will gain an understanding of the unwavering commitment, focus, and determination required to work within this field. From working with interns, local business owners will have new knowledge of entrepreneurial skills they need to create business opportunities that will contribute to socio-economic development and significantly transform their lives.

Max Derbyshire

Class of 2022

Ella Farrell

Class of 2022

Morgan Biele

Class of 2022

Our Internship Team

Our Business Partner

Haruna Jonathan Maina

Fish Farming Business Statistics


Years Working:

Average Number of Customers Per Week:

Main Services:

Favorite Part of His Job:

Number of Dependants:

Rafin Zurfi, Bauchi, Nigeria




Fish farming

Providing jobs

Business Statistics

About Haruna

Community Impact

Our Partnership

Future Goals

Haruna is a 36 year old business owner in Birshi Gandu, Nigeria. He runs a commercial fish farming business and lives with his wife and she runs a fabric company to support them and Haruna’s parents.

Every morning, Haruna and his wife complete house work before breakfast, and then he goes to his farm for work.

Currently, his business has had to shut down due to the economic stress of COVID-19. This year, He hopes to re-open his business and employ workers to meet personal sales goals for the year.

His Story

Haruna Jonathan Maina

Community Impact

Haruna Jonathan Maina

Haruna sells fingerings and fully grown fish to his community. He prides himself on his natural feed, which makes the fish, healthier, bigger, and more nutritious than other breeds on the market.

Before COVID, Haruna had 4 full time employees who worked with him on the farm.

One of his favorite parts of his job is seeing the positive impacts his business has on his community. He is able to provide jobs and take care of his parents financially through his business and it is his personalized way of giving back to his community.

Our Partnership

Haruna Jonathan Maina

The overall goal for our partnership this year, is to return to a steady level of sales and to recover from the negative impacts of the Coronavirus.

By working with LI, Haruna hopes to improve marketing, organization, and expand/ improve his farming facilities. He knows that partnering with LI will bring him one step to closer to a fully recovered community that can continue to provide for it’s people.

Hopes For The Future

Haruna Jonathan Maina

In the future, Haruna plans to employ more workers on his farm. He aims to provide jobs for as many of his community members as possible.

In the long term, Haruna hopes to be the most reliable fish farming business for his community. Increased profits will be put towards funding a more advanced farming facility and taking care of his parents.

Our Approach


Financially literate entrepreneurs make optimal financial and economic decisions about savings, borrowing, and investments. Our team is working with Haruna Jonathan Maina to create an effective financial tracking system for his business finances, receipts, and daily costs.


It takes between 18 and 254 days to form a habit. In order for our business partner to successfully implement this plan, they need to consistently track their personal expenses, business expenses, income, and use receipts.

Click here to learn more.


Our team identified target markets and key demographics to create a customer acquisition plan. We are working with Haruna Jonathan Maina to redesign his brand and create effective marketing campaigns.


Steady growth is a critical component of creating self-sustaining communities. Our team is working to identify key areas of opportunity for Haruna Jonathan Maina and design solutions to improve his business to foster growth.

Our Fundraising


Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced some of the highest economic growth rates globally over the past 10 years. While this means that people in these nations have become more optimistic about their socio-economic future, the region continues to face a myriad of problems. In order to continue steady growth and achieve a future of equitable conditions in the region, our International Internship Program team seeks to build stronger communities from the grassroots level through fundraising for community development.

Funds raised are used to incubate new business and community ventures, pay staff to run the program on-site, fund student-created solutions, and invest in training for local leaders and entrepreneurs. Leadership Initiatives uses fundraised money to develop a network of support for actionable change and accountability between our team, the Leadership Initiatives staff, and the community stakeholders we work with.