Leonora Appiah is a seasoned Project and Operations Management Expert with a wide range of project portfolios and managerial roles in the inspection, logistics, agribusiness, and production space. Her knowledge and operational experience (processes and procedures) in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a fifteen-year managerial role in the verification business and project management cut her to fit into the capacity as the Executive Director, a position she currently holds at the McDan Group of Companies
Leonora has enviable people skills which galvanizes her leaderships skill for efficient and effective team building for targeted objectives in the group and its subsidiaries.
Her role as the Executive Director has delivered on tailor-made projects which are ready to go into full scale operations.
She is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon and a Masters Agricultural Economics and Administration relatively with an extensive training in Inspection and Project Management in Shanghai, Dubai and Rotterdam; office and training hubs for Bureau Veritas.
- What attracted you to being a Judge on the show?
I have always had the desire to impact positively and empower young people, therefore, the invitation to become a judge on the show was a welcomed initiative as it was in line with my personal goal.
- What experience do you bring to the show?
Sustainability is a very important concept in our world today and the business environment is no different. I hope to bring my experience from multinational companies to bear by drawing the attention of candidates to the need to adopt sustainable practices as entrepreneurs that will ensure customer and employee satisfaction.
- What did you most enjoy about being on the show?
I couldn’t have had the privilege to be on any other show but the McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge. Ghana indeed has a future, considering the depth of ideas that I am privileged to hear from these young vibrant up and coming entrepreneurs. Their enthusiasm and passion is so infectious; as a matter of fact, I always look forward to subsequent sessions.
- What makes you different to the other judges?
Like I mentioned initially my experience from working with multinational companies has equipped me with the capability to analyse situations and concepts in its entirety to offer holistic and proactive solutions and perspectives to getting things done.
- What’s it like being the only female judge?
Apart from the gender balance, it is exciting as well as normal for me to be the only female among males. It always challenges me not be feel less but step up my game to rub shoulders with them. Irrespective of my gender or age, they respect and value my views and contribution to issues. It’s a great team to be a part of, we learn from each other.
- What are you looking for in a pitch?
It should must have a clear vision and attractive, viable (indicating profitability and return on investment). It should be solving an identified problem.
- What do you hope to see more of in Season 2?
More businesses that could be scaled up to the multinational level.
- What are 3 pieces of advice you’d give to budding entrepreneurs?
- Exhibit high sense of professionalism by delivering on their promises.
- Although they must not be afraid of taking risks. Risks must be taken after detailed research and analysis have been done as well as the courage to make mistakes and learn from past mistakes.
- Human Resource is a very important element in all business endeavours therefore it is important for a budding entrepreneur to develop people management skills to manage both internal and external customers.
- What’s McDan like?
McDan is a great place to work for individuals who feel highly motivated to achieve more as it creates an enabling environment due to management support to staff empowerment.
Dr. McKorley is a very ambitious and determined person who motivates his employees to become excellent at what they do by always encouraging them to think creatively. He does not take no for answer; you don’t just report problems to him but suggestions to solving the problems as well.
- What gives you hope for the next generation of Ghana’s entrepreneurs?
Their desire and ambition to make a difference in their societies by taking the initiative to create and innovative ideas that will liberate them economically and create employment opportunities for others. This will reduce their over-reliance on government thus leading to a reduction in the rate of unemployment.
- Closing comment…
In as much as capital in the form of money is important for building a company, young entrepreneurs stand to gain a lot in forming strategic partnership with other entrepreneurs. This will can enable them to pool their funds together, also they will also benefit from the synergy that such a partnership will create (technological, managerial, etc.)
The other Judges