YLAI Impact

The U.S. Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) empowers emerging entrepreneurs, promotes U.S. business models, increases trade, encourages job creation, and builds lasting and sustainable networks of young entrepreneurs and business and social leaders across Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States.

YLAI Professional Fellowship

Since YLAI’s launch in 2015, 763 Professional Fellows, including 369 women, from 36 countries, have been hosted by 729 U.S. companies and organizations, in 26 cities, across 23 states.

A year after returning from their YLAI Fellowships, 98 percent applied what they learned in the United States, 94 percent felt prepared to find funding, and 84 percent attracted new resources. And among U.S. businesses, 95 percent would recommend hosting a YLAI Fellow, and 92 percent would host again.

To support Professional Fellows, 49 innovation and pitch competition grants helped make business improvements in 23 countries. 72 travel grants helped fellows network at business conferences, including at 41 events in the United States. And 138 U.S. hosts visited fellows to support business development and build networks in 32 countries.

group of people waving arms posing for picture

“YLAI brought me friends, business partners, clients, and a family. It changed my life.”

2016 Fellow from Brazil

YLAI Network

Over 47,000 YLAI Network members have access to 15 online courses, all available in both English and Spanish, plus more than 75 expert videos and more than 300 blog posts covering leadership, entrepreneurial skills, personal development, and more. Network members have made over 4,000 commitments to take action offline in support of positive change, including women’s empowerment, transparency and integrity, and building resilient communities.

"Thanks to the YLAI Network, I feel like I have an extended perception of the American continent. And what's best...the chance to do something together."

YLAI Network member from Ecuador

“It was a great experience for us to collaborate, teach, and learn from an entrepreneur from another country.”

2018 Host from Pennsylvania

YLAI in their own words

YLAI Fellows and Network members share the impact YLAI has had on their lives as leaders, their businesses and organizations, and their communities and countries.

Hear from YLAIers about:
Creating opportunities to empower communities,
Increasing business ties with the United States,
Mentoring and creating business opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs, and
Collaborating with entrepreneurs and the YLAI Network.

Escuchar a YLAIers en sus propias palabras sobre:
La colaboración con emprendedores y la Red YLAI,
La respuesta a las necesidades de la comunidad,
El fortalecimiento de los lazos comerciales con Estados Unidos,
La creación de oportunidades para empoderar a sus comunidades, y
El impacto positivo en sus comunidades.

Meet 18 YLAIers

We recently caught up with 18 YLAI Fellows and Network members from across Latin America and the Caribbean. Click on the maps to hear them introduce themselves.

Yellow pins represent English speakers from across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Haga clic en el mapa con los alfileres rojos para escucharlos presentarse en español.