Reset Global People, one of Africa’s largest non-governmental organizations on the frontline of advocating for the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has nominated former Secretary General of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), Ms. Leelai Kpukuyou, as one of the TOP 100 Women Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in Africa.
The nomination is an annual ranking established to highlight and celebrate outstanding accomplishments of Women CEOs aligned with the SDGs in Africa.
Ms. Kpukuyou is an Entrepreneur with over fifteen years of experience in business including real estate and minimart. She is the founder and executive director of African Youth and Women Empowerment Initiative (AYOWEI), CEO of Mini Mall Enterprise Inc., and former Secretary General of the Liberia Business Association.
Through her AYOWEI, Ms. Kpukuyou empowers women and youth through entrepreneurship to become financially independent to contribute to the social economic development of Liberia.
“I am humbled by the nomination but, to be honest, being a Liberian businesswoman, I was not anticipating such recognition. I did not know how I came to be nominated by whom, considering that it is a continental nomination. I was totally humbled and surprised when I heard about the nomination,” she told reporters.
Madame Leelai Kpukuyou said though she had no idea about how she was nominated, she always has in mind that “people are watching and keeping track of what you do in society.”
“Well, my work is a reflection of what needs to be done among women, what needs to be done within the private sector,” she said.
She continued: “I am not working as a businesswoman and taking on my corporate social responsibilities because of these nominations, I am doing it because I feel that in business it is my responsibility to bring a positive light to entrepreneurship as well as women, and ensure that whatever I do can positively affect society through my platform as a businesswoman.”
Ms. Kpukuyou is nominated along with women including Isabel dos Santos, African female billionaire and daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos; and Linda Ifeoma Ikeji, a Nigerian blogger, writer, entrepreneur and former model.
According to her, she sees her nomination as recognition of all Liberian Women.
“Knowing that we were able to make this list, I don’t see it as recognition just to me as a person; I see it as raising the profile of Liberian women in businesses, and I feel that this win is dedicated to all Liberian Women, especially those mothers that are working in markets.”
Ms. Kpukuyou encouraged more Liberian women to get involved in the private sector to help the government stimulate Economic growth through job creation.
“The one sector that will not fail you is the private sector. I have confidence because I have been there all these years. You should know how to diversify the strategies you employ in order to remain at bay. I want to encourage those inspiring, smart Liberian women entrepreneurs out there to continue doing what they are doing. But they should do it with purpose – the purpose that will transform society for the better,” she said.
Meanwhile, the nominees will attend a Summit to be hosted in the Nigerian commercial city of Lagos next year in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).