The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (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.
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.
YLAI Program Timeline
April 23, 2017 YLAI Professional Fellows Program application deadline
April – July 2017 Applications reviewed by the selection committee
August 2017 Finalists and alternates notified
August–September 2017 Pre-Departure Orientation and program preparation
October 3, 2017 Travel to U.S.; YLAI U.S. Program begins October 4
November 8, 2017 Departure from U.S.; YLAI U.S. Program ends November 7
Spring 2018 Select U.S. Fellowship Hosts travel to YLAI fellows’ countries
Financial Provisions of the YLAI Professional Fellowship Program
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:Financial Provisions of the YLAI Professional Fellowship Program
- 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.
The purpose of the application is to collect basic information and to better understand applicants’ qualifications for the YLAI Professional Fellows Program. Questions will include candidates’ professional background and experience with their own business or social ventures, volunteer activities, and English language proficiency. The application will require applicants’ work history and business or organization plans.
See a template of the business/organization plan [PDF].