Who is Leelai?
Leelai is a Liberian businesswoman who stands out as a successful Entrepreneur with demonstrable record of achievements in her business endeavors over the past nine years. Leelai is a Liberian Entrepreneur who emerged from a humble beginning, under the mentorship of her mother, to becoming an Actor in Liberia’s successful post-war economic recovery.
Leelai has keen sense and ground knowledge on the day-to-day business environment of Liberia in most sectors of the economy. Due to her consistent work and tireless innovation rooted in trust, she has developed credible links with diverse business actors in the MRU (Mano River Union), ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and other parts of Africa and the Western world.
Leelai is the Founder and CEO of Mini Mall Enterprise Incorporated, (MMEI) a Liberian-owned business conglomerate with functional business units in real estate, petroleum, retail stores/general merchandise as well as business consultancy service and is looking to expanding into enterprise brokerage, tourism and ICT innovations. Leelai is also the Board Chair of Sanoyea Realty Incorporated, a subsidiary of Mini Mall Enterprise Incorporated.
As CEO of Mini Mall Enterprise Inc., Leelai successfully managed real-estate construction project in the tune of over US$2 million and extensively travels overseas to establish contacts with manufacturers, which led to the importation of various commodities into the Liberian Market. Leelai also provides strategic leadership to her group of companies that has expanded her business operations to other parts of Liberia.
Leelai is an advocate with clear focus on private sector development, developing suitable environment, strategy for international investors with focus on doing business in Liberia, West Africa and encouraging international increase in trade and commerce.
Leelai is a sturdy believer in International free and sustainable trade, the Sustainable Development Goals, Climate Change and seeks to use her platform through smart business models to encourage others to help protect and make changes that would impact humanity positively. Leelai is the current Secretary-General (SG) of the Liberian Business Association (LIBA), an Association established by an Act of the Liberian Legislature to advocate for all Liberian-owned businesses in Liberia. In her current position as Chief Executive of the Liberian Business Association (LIBA), Leelai uses her position to highlight challenges faced by Liberian owned businesses at all levels in the public and private sectors.
Her leadership ability and intelligent contribution to the private sector has opened wider corridors to advocate for the domestic private sector. On several occasions, Leelai represents LIBA at business meetings with key stakeholders nationally and internationally including Presidents of Liberia, and has made significant input in advocating for greater public support for the domestic private sector while providing opportunity for capacity building to bridge the gap between foreign businesses and Liberian owned.
A Masters in Public Sector Management from Cuttington University Graduate School; he holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management & Sociology. She studied SME Development in Nagoya, Japan at the Japanese International Corporation where she earned a Diploma. She also studied International Business Negotiation at the Academy for International Business Officials in Beijing, China, where she earned a Diploma. She holds several certificates in strategies for small business development, trading and distribution management and business development programs amongst others.
As a result of her vision, diligence and an understanding of the strategic frameworks for the socio-economic transformation of Liberia and African Union Agenda 2030, Leelai is now pushing her path towards becoming one of Africa’s influential young female entrepreneurs. Leelai has participated in many international conferences and fora including the IMF annual meeting in Washington, DC, ILO conference in Geneva, Switzerland and the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Geneva and Sweden that led to Liberia’s accession to the WTO in 2016.
She led Liberia a private sector delegation to London along with the Government of Liberia delegation, to participate in a UK-Liberia Partnership dialog – focusing on investing in infrastructure, energy and agriculture in Liberia. She also served as an active participant at the United Nations High Level Panel, (UN HLP) on the post 2015 Millennium Development Goal Meeting in 2013 in Monrovia, Liberia.
Leelai has widely participated in several high profile international and local conferences, negotiations, meetings, on key policy issues such as promoting women entrepreneurs, creating opportunity for capacity building, facilitation of access to finance, policy coordination, Business Development services for SME’s and designing strategies to bridge the gap between foreign businesses and Liberian-owned businesses.
Leelai is also a motivational speaker; she uses her experience in various aspects of social economic activities to inspire the youth and women in Liberia. Through her persuasive, assertiveness and entrepreneurship approaches. Leelai has impacted many lives and continues to create avenues and opportunities for youth and women entrepreneurs. She believes that if one must serve, he or she must serve with distinction, and by distinction, she means, “let your service impact humanity positively”.
Main pic/Leelai Kpukuyou