Guyanese entrepreneurs are being invited to apply to participate in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program. Entrepreneurs between the ages of 25 and 35 are encouraged to apply by September 18 for the programme which runs from June 7 – July 17, 2020.
Applications are also open to residents and citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The YLAI empowers entrepreneurs to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. During the program, the fellows will learn and share their experiences in start-ups, small businesses, non-governmental organizations, and similar entities in cities throughout the United States and in partnership with community groups and American universities.
The participants will further develop their business or social venture plans through an entrepreneurship curriculum and workshops, and by working alongside their American counterparts. Since the initiative’s launch in 2015, more than 750 YLAI Professional Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean have expanded their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at businesses and organizations across the United States.
Last year three promising Guyanese entrepreneurs were selected for the programme. They are: Jaianan Hirai, co-founder of the A+ Computer Training Center, located in West Coast Demerara, provides free and low-cost training courses for young people who cannot afford the fees of traditional IT schools. Jai is also an IT Trainer at the University of Guyana and a Certified Network Administrator.
Evie Kanhai-Gurchuran, co-founder and CEO of Java Coffee Bar, an artisanal coffee shop in Georgetown. Java Coffee Bar reduces unemployment and supports Guyanese farmers by using locally sourced ingredients and by making almost all of its products from scratch. Evie is also the CEO of EMTEC, a marketing and graphic design firm and Sites Builders, a product development company.
Nigel Anthony Peters, founder of Arcadia Agri, a cultivator of organic fruits and vegetables in Guyana. By providing locally grown produce and hiring a young workforce, Arcadia Agri aims to reduce both food imports and youth unemployment in the country.
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