The U.S. Consulate General Curacao is proud to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2023 Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship. YLAI is a five-week entrepreneurship exchange program fully funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and designed to help young entrepreneurs become successful. We are searching for two (2) entrepreneurs from Curacao, one (1) from Aruba, and one (1) from Sint Maarten to join our team of sixteen predecessors from the Dutch Caribbean and become part of a network of over 1,000 business leaders from across Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada. Members of the YLAI network support each other’s efforts to improve their own ventures, share best practices, and contribute to economic prosperity in their communities.
The YLAI fellowship program includes online and in-person course work that combines technical entrepreneurship training and leadership development. You will have the opportunity to set and achieve leadership goals during a four-week professional placement in cities across the United States. With a mentor, you will develop valuable skills and gain experience at a U.S. organization from your business sector. At the end of the four weeks, you will participate in the YLAI closing forum in Washington D.C., where you can network at events with business and social entrepreneurial leaders and U.S. government representatives. After successful completion of the fellowship, YLAI alumni continue their collaboration with U.S. partners and have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentorship, networking, and alumni activities.
To qualify for YLAI, you must be an entrepreneur between the ages of 25 and 35, be a resident of Aruba, Curacao or Sint Maarten, and have a business registered at the Chamber of Commerce for at least two years. Applicants must be proficient in English, must qualify for a J-visa, and must be available to travel to the United States in January and February 2023. There is no fee to apply to become a YLAI Fellow. If selected for the YLAI Fellowship Program, the U.S. Government will cover all program costs including J-1 visa support, round-trip travel from participant’s home city to the United States and domestic U.S. travel, a limited accident and sickness benefit plan, and a housing and meal stipend during the program. For more information on eligibility and selection criteria visit: https://ylai.state.gov/.
The YLAI Network is a signature part of the United States government’s efforts to increase partnerships with future leaders to help promote economic growth and strengthen civil society. We invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in yourself, your business, and your community. Apply at https://ylai.state.gov/. Deadline for applications is December 1, 2021.