About Kayla Casavant
I am a girl from Iowa that is having the time of her life, living and working in West Africa. It’s strange to think that there was a time when I didn’t want anything to do with business, but my time spent in Dakar, Senegal and now in Monrovia, Liberia is changing the way I see the marketplace. Where I used to see a harsh and profit driven sector I now see hard work, innovation, opportunity and most importantly, relationships!
I went to the University of Arizona where I graduated with a degree in International Economic Development with a focus on West Africa region. Driven by a desire to learn more about business and how small loans can help relieve poverty, I went to Senegal where I spent one year as an intern with a small microfinance organization and a second year working as a quality manager for a locally run business, Bioessence Laboratories, fabricating and marketing skin care products made from natural oils in Senegal. Working directly with women's cooperatives to purchase their handcrafted Shea Butter I was struck by the impact that Bioessence Labs was having on the lives of 300+ women and their families by teaching them and creating a new source of revenue. When I finished my one-year contract with them, I knew that I had found my calling to use the knowledge and experience I had in Senegal to promote business growth.
Thanks to a friend from my church in Iowa City, I learned about what Partners Worldwide was doing and immediately resonated with their mission and values. When I was offered the job of Partnership Manager in Liberia I accepted with excitement!
Already a few months living in Monrovia, I am reaffirmed each day that this is where I am meant to be! God shines through the LEAD staff as they continue to work for the empowerment of small businesses in the name of Christ, and I feel fortunate to become a part of this family.