The United States has opened the call for “Young Leaders of the Americas”: this is how you can participate to boost your business

Since the launch of the initiative in 2015, the YLAI program has benefited more than 1,510 scholarship recipients from Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean – Credit Johan Largo / Infobae

Through its official channels, the US Embassy in Colombia invited young entrepreneurs who want to take their business ideas to another level to participate in the YLAI (Young Leaders of the Americas) program, which is open on the Consulate’s website.

As specified by the Embassy, ​​YLAI is a five-week exchange program led and fully funded by the U.S. Department of State. The initiative focuses on enhancing the skills and entrepreneurship of young people between the ages of 25 and 35 from Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Since its launch in 2015, the YLAI program has benefited more than 1,510 scholarship recipients from Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Participants will have access to continuing professional development opportunities, as they share experiences through the network YLAI This will allow them to establish connections with companies and mentors in the United States.

According to the schedule of program activities, The call will accept registrations from Wednesday, May 8 to Wednesday, June 5, 2024. Among the requirements that applicants must meet, the embassy highlighted the following.

  • Be between 25 and 35 years old as of January 1, 2025.
  • Be a current resident and citizen of one of the participating countries:
    • Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras.
    • Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Martin, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.
    • In specific cases of stay in Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten, Dutch citizenship will be accepted.
    • Citizens of Venezuela may be residents of another eligible country.
  • Have a business that has been in operation and legally registered for at least two years.
  • You must have a B2 intermediate level in English.
  • Be available to travel to the United States in May and June 2025.
  • Commitment to attending program sessions.
  • Commit to sharing your knowledge with the entrepreneur network upon completion of the program.
The call closing date will be June 5, 2024 – Credit @USEmbassyBogota/X

As for people who do not meet the above requirements, the embassy has added good news. They will be able to participate in other exchange opportunities which they can detail by accessing the following link: https://exchanges.state.gov.

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Regarding the software component Young Leaders of the AmericasThose selected will spend four weeks in the United States with a guiding company that will be appointed by the State Department.

They, in turn, will have a study plan in entrepreneurship and business leadership that includes courses before, during, and after the scholarship in the United States, to which will be added:

  • Forum opening in Houston, Texas. *
  • Closing Forum in Washington, D.C.*
  • Ongoing opportunities for interaction (networking) and mentoring.
  • Access to influence grants and other calls.
  • Digital resources and tools.

For the application process, interested parties must complete the application form available at the following link: https://ylai.state.gov/apply. There the platform will ask you to log in the current user, if you do not have that then you will have to click on the “Register a new user” button.

When you already have your username, you will have to click on “Access”, where the system will show you both the questionnaire and the steps to follow to finish the participation process. The North American Consulate explained this Selection will include a review of requirements, entrepreneurship initiative, candidate profile and a personal interview. Participants will be selected by the US Embassy in Colombia.

For more information about the YLAI (Young Leaders of the Americas) programme, those interested can access the following link where they will find in detail the components of the initiative, among other aspects: https://ylai.state.gov/

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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