Deadline: March 4, 2018
Applications for the 2018 Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program are now open! YLAI 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.
Through the YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute and the individualized Fellowships, YLAI Fellows will accelerate their commercial and social ventures’ success and develop specific action plans to carry out upon return to their home countries. YLAI Fellows will build networks, linkages and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures. YLAI 2017 Fellows will participate in the following program components:
- Four-week U.S. Fellowship: With U.S. fellowship hosts in their fields of expertise, YLAI Professional Fellows gain valuable professional development skills at entrepreneurial organizations or companies across the U.S. and work jointly on an action plan to be implemented upon Fellows’ return to their home countries.
- Washington, D.C. Summit: YLAI Professional Fellows participate 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: YLAI Professional Fellows expand their leadership, entrepreneurial and management skills and knowledge through online and in-person trainings that complement their U.S. Fellowship.
- Post-Fellowship Sustained Engagement: After successful completion of the U.S. Fellowship and YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute, YLAI Professional Fellows continue their collaboration with U.S. partners and have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentorships, networking and alumni activities. YLAI Professional Fellows will be eligible for Innovation Small Grants to fund startup or scaling activities, Travel Grants to attend conferences, and a chance to welcome a Fellowship Host to their country to share expertise and expand the host’s understanding of the entrepreneurship climate in YLAI Professional Fellows’ home countries.
There is no fee to apply to become a YLAI Professional Fellow. All YLAI Professional Fellows Program expenses are covered by the U.S. government and include the following categories:
- J-1 visa support.
- Round-trip travel from participant’s home city to the United States and all required program travel.
- YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute training and courses.
- Program opening in Atlanta, GA and summit in Washington, D.C.
- Four-week professional development experience.
- Accident and sickness medical coverage.
- Housing and meals throughout the program.
Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexuality, national origin, disability or any other protected characteristic as established by U.S. law. Applicants with disabilities are eligible and encouraged to apply for the YLAI Professional Fellows Program. The YLAI Professional Fellows Program is open to young entrepreneurs who meet the following criteria:
- Are between the ages of 21 and 35 on the start date of the YLAI Professional Fellows Program.
- Are a resident and citizen of one of the participating countries*: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, 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, Venezuela.
* In the specific cases of residency in Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten, citizenship in the Netherlands is accepted.
- Are eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa.
- Have at least two (2) years of professional experience.
- Have experience with a startup business or social venture.
- Are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
- Are not U.S. government employees.
- Are proficient in reading, writing and speaking English.
The YLAI Professional Fellows Program candidate selection committee will use the following criteria to evaluate applications and interviews:
- Demonstrated professional entrepreneurial experience and knowledge.
- Commitment to community or public service, mentorship or volunteerism in your home country and to applying entrepreneurial and leadership skills, experience and knowledge to benefit your community and country.
- Demonstrated understanding of how your personal and professional goals align with program objectives.
- Demonstrated leadership, commitment to your organization’s or business’s success, positive attitude, initiative and perseverance.
Start your online application.
For more information, visit YLAI Professional Fellowship.