Meridian International Center is pleased to implement the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. YLAI empowers entrepreneurs and civil society leaders to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and to effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities and societies.
In fall 2016, 248 YLAI Professional Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean expanded their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at NGOs and businesses across the U.S. The YLAI Professional Fellows Program will welcome up to 250 fellows in fall 2017 for the next cohort. Through the YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute and individualized Fellowships, YLAI Professional Fellows will accelerate their commercial and social ventures’ success. YLAI Professional Fellows build the networks, linkages, and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures.
To complement the U.S.-based program, up to 45 U.S. Fellowship Hosts will travel to the region in spring 2018 to learn organizational practices at the fellows’ businesses, best practices, and support Fellows’ action plan progress. Additionally, U.S. fellowship hosts will participate in local programming to benefit the Fellows' home community. Meridian, partner organizations, and YLAI Professional Fellows will provide recommendations based on the hosts’ engagement during the U.S.-based program and interest in business ventures in Latin America and the Caribbean.