Shailaja Akkapeddi is an independent consultant specializing in small business counseling, entrepreneurial training and women’s economic empowerment. Her two main passions are working with resettled refugees in Salt Lake City with special focus on refugee women and children and working with grassroots NGOS that focus on marginalized women in India.
She has worked at the International Rescue Committee, Utah Micro Loan Fund, Women’s Business Institute at Salt Lake Community College and University Neighborhood Partners at the University of Utah. She has a partnership with a local tutoring company and raised private funds to provide tutoring services for refugee youth in the valley. Her work includes one on one small business counseling, entrepreneurial curriculum development and group training, microloans, women’s economic empowerment workshops, management training for refugee community leaders, developing and piloting nonprofit capacity building incubator programs and outreach and advocacy for these programs. More recently, her projects have focused on the broader women’s empowerment and advocacy space through engagement with grassroots community based NGOs in India and with community foundations both in India and the United States.
Shailaja is a native of Mumbai, India. She came to Utah 30 years back for her graduate studies and stayed. She got her MBA and M.S. in Economics from Utah State University. She and her husband raised their two children in Salt Lake City and enjoy the Utah outdoors and mountains with their dog.