Tuesday 16 October, 2018

5 Bajan entrepreneurs off to the U.S.A

Five Barbadian entrepreneurs have been named within the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program for 2016.

This initiative is to support entrepreneurs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to National Safety Council (NSC) Spokesperson Ned Price in a press release statement on the First Class of Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellows,

“The White House is proud to announce the inaugural class of Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellows.

“President Obama launched YLAI last year to expand opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs and civil society innovators in Latin America and the Caribbean.  

“The inaugural YLAI class brings 250 promising young business and social entrepreneurs from across Latin America to invest in and accelerate the work of young leaders who are making their communities and countries more prosperous and secure.” 

The initiative commenced in 2015 and the final staging of developmental events for those fellows were earlier this year. The deadline for 2016 applicants was May, 2016.

In this new cohort of Young Leaders for 2016 are Barbados' La-Tonia Arthur, Kevin Devonish, Alian Ollivierre, Ro-ann Mohammed and Gregory Skeete.

The Program signifies an important step in White House’s commitment to fostering the development of an entrepreneurship network in the Americas.

The YLAI Professional Fellows will become part of the larger YLAI Network, an online space to obtain resources and make regional connections necessary to foster positive change in their local communities.  

But being chosen following the application and selection process is but one step. Now selected the entrepreneurs are off to the United States soon.

The U.S. program includes the following components:

1. Opening Program in Texas and Closing Summit in Washington, D.C. featuring workshops, breakout sessions, and keynote speakers;

2. Four-week individualized fellowship with counterpart companies or organizations in cities around the U.S.  The participants will engage in skills-building workshops, develop or refine their own strategic plan, and participate in day-to-day operations at U.S. organizations;

3. Professional development activities including entrepreneurship training and interaction with experts; and

4. Ongoing support before, during, and after the YLAI Fellowship through networking, mentorship, and investment opportunities.