Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program 2016

Fall 2016 Cohort

In fall 2016, 248 Latin American and Caribbean entrepreneurs participated in the YLAI Professional Fellows Program. These outstanding business and social entrepreneurs are working to transform their societies.

Meet the 2016 YLAI Fellows    

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The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program empowers entrepreneurs and innovative civil society leaders to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. In fall 2016, 248 YLAI Professional Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean expanded their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at businesses and civil society organizations across the U.S. Through the YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute and the individualized Fellowships, YLAI Fellows accelerated their commercial and social ventures’ success and developed specific action plans to carry out upon return to their home countries. YLAI Professional Fellows built networks, linkages and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures. YLAI 2016 Professional Fellows participated in:

    • Program Opening in Dallas, TX: YLAI Professional Fellows participated in a three day conference that provided them with an overview of the Fellowship along with the opportunity to hear from and engage with prominent entrepreneurs in the region.
    • Four-week Fellowship: With U.S. fellowship hosts in their field of expertise, YLAI Professional Fellows gained valuable professional development skills at entrepreneurial organizations or companies across the U.S. and worked jointly on a venture Action Plan to be implemented upon Fellows’ return to their home countries.
    • Washington, D.C., Summit: YLAI Professional Fellows participated in a three-day conference and networking event with top U.S. government officials as well as global public, private and nonprofit leaders.
    • YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute: The YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute is an innovative online learning platform that helped Fellows advance their skills and learn critical components for launching or expanding their entrepreneurial entity.
    • Sustained Engagement Post Fellowship: After successful completion of the U.S. Fellowship and YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute, YLAI Professional Fellows continued their collaboration with U.S. partners and had access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentorships, networking and alumni activities. YLAI Professional Fellows were eligible for Innovation Small Grants to fund startup or scaling activities, Travel Grants to conferences, and a chance to welcome a Fellowship Host to their country to share expertise and expand the hosts’ understanding of the entrepreneurship climate in YLAI Professional Fellows’ home countries.


YLAI Professional Fellows Program Timeline

May 27, 2016 YLAI Professional Fellows Program application deadline
May–July 2016 Applications reviewed by the selection committee
August 2016 Finalists and alternates notified
August–September 2016 Pre-Departure Orientation and program preparation
October 4, 2016 YLAI U.S. Fellowship began
November 12, 2016 YLAI U.S. Fellowship ended
Spring 2017 Selected U.S. Mentors Fellowship Hosts traveled to host fellows’ countries

YLAI 2016 by the Numbers


2016 YLAI Fellows

See all 2016 Fellows

YLAI 2016 in the News

Project summary