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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 Fellowship

Since YLAI’s launch in 2015, 1,504 Fellows, including 773 women, from 37 countries, have collaborated with
1,100+ U.S. companies and organizations, in 85 cities, across 34 states.

A year after returning from their YLAI Fellowships, 97 percent strengthened their entrepreneurial and leadership skills, 91 percent applied what they learned in the United States, and 81 percent have improved their company’s performance as a result of skills learned through their Fellowship Placement Organization. And among U.S. businesses, 86 percent gained new practical knowledge or skills, 90 percent plan to continue collaborating with one or more YLAI Fellows, and 92 percent would host again.

To support Fellows, 61 innovation and pitch competition grants helped make business improvements in 25 countries. 118+ impact grants and 47 collaboration grants have been awarded to foster collaboration and capacity building between U.S. partner and alumni networks and alumni local entrepreneurial communities. 96+ travel grants helped fellows network at business conferences, including at 41 events in the United States. 156+ U.S. Fellowship Placement Organizations visited fellows to support business development and build networks in 33 countries.

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

2016 Fellow from Brazil

YLAI Network

Over 55,000 YLAI Network members have access to 25 online courses, all available in both English and Spanish, plus more than 100+ expert videos and more than 400+ blog posts covering leadership, entrepreneurial skills, personal development, and more. Network members have made over 5,000 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

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.