Rabat – Ameroc, an international trade company specialized in exporting material handling, industrial tires and automotive lubricants, founded by Sophia Leaguedi, a Morocco-born serial entrepreneur based in Chicago, recently won the Illinois award for Exporter of the Year, according to a a press release obtained by Morocco World News.
To celebrate her recognition, Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner welcomed Leaguedi in a “meet and greet ceremony” on Tuesday morning.
“I am extremely honored to receive this recognition from the State of Illinois. It means a lot to me: first because it is crowns several years of hard work and dedication; second it allows me to represent my home country, especially the talent of Moroccan women, in the best way,” Leaguedi told Morocco World News in a phone call.
“The greatest gifts in life are not purchased but acquired through hard work and determination,” she added.
Leaguedi moved from the kingdom to the United States without extensive business experience, but started several businesses in Los Angeles to establish herself in the city: some failed, some prospered.
After her initial venture into furniture exports, Atlas Imports, suffered significant losses due to a shipment full of damaged goods, Leaguedi went back to school to learn more about international trade.
Armed with a new business model, the entrepreneur launched Ameroc Export, Inc. in Chicago on a mission to help American manufacturers ship their goods internationally.
Once she secured her business presence in Morocco, she developed allies in the Department of Commerce’s United States Export Assistance Center to begin working in 12 other countries with free trade agreements with the U.S.
Leaguedi’s exclusive distribution agreement with Tenessee’s Mitco Industrial Tire Manufacturing and other export projects in African countries brought the company high revenues, and enabled it to increase its market share in 12 countries.
Ameroc’s clients soon began expanding their business to meet demand for their products all around world along with Leaguedi’s expansion to the Middle East.
As a liaison, she helped suppliers navigate though exporting challenges, including deals involving the transfer of equipment across international borders, putting all parties in a win-win situation.
Leaguedi’s work has shown many small to medium-sized U.S. companies the ease and profitability of selling their products overseas, leading to the award she was handed this week from the governor of her now home-state.
This is not the first time the Moroccan businesswoman receives an award for her outstanding work. In March, she received the 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year Award for her for her outstanding work as head of her own company Ameroc Export Inc.