Entrepreneurs Encouraged to Apply for U.S. Embassy Exchange Program

PARAMARIBO – The U.S. Embassy is now accepting applications for its exchange program for young entrepreneurs: the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI). The deadline for applying is 1 p.m. Suriname time on December 1. Full details on the application process can be found at https://ylai.state.gov/fellowship/

The free YLAI program is a unique experience for young Surinamese entrepreneurs between the ages of 25 and 35 with two years of business experience. Along with going through an on-line and in-person curriculum designed by Arizona State University, YLAI participants will travel to the U.S. to spend four weeks working alongside an American business mentor.

Each year, five Surinamese participants are selected to take part in the YLAI program. They return not only with skills to strengthen their businesses, but also with a newfound passion to develop Suriname’s entrepreneurship environment by helping train and support others.

“Our YLAI program alumni are not only skilled business owners; they are community leaders working hard to ensure other Surinamers have the opportunities they need to thrive,” said U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Jake Goshert. “Many of them go on to lead training, provide mentoring, and help with community development activities. It just shows our exchange programs are not vacations. They provide new insights and skills to individuals who want to build a better future for our two nations.”

Everyone of any age or business experience can also benefit from the free, on-line leadership, business, and personal development courses found through the YLAI Network, a global community supporting entrepreneurs. The U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo recently began expanding on the on-line courses by working with YLAI exchange alumni to offer monthly workshops featuring leading Surinamese business leaders. To join the YLAI Network, take on-line courses, and get access to the monthly local workshops visit https://ylai.state.gov/