PARAMARIBO – The Surinamese participants in the U.S. State Department’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) entrepreneurship exchange program recently completed a virtual series of workshops and meetings that included study of a leadership and business curriculum and a four-week-long, in-depth partnership with select U.S. mentors. And though YLAI 2021 just ended, these young Surinamese business leaders are already identifying new paths to success.
Five Surinamese business leaders were selected to take part in the YLAI program, which this year shifted to a virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It ran from January through April.
According to YLAI participant Ivani Mook, operation manager of Clean Sweep, the first thing she will be implementing from the ideas gained during her participation in YLAI is the use of a business planning app, allowing her and her employees to optimize their work activities. Ruiz Kartoredjo, founder and CEO of Jamur Institute of Education and Advice, was so motivated from the YLAI experience that he accelerated the launch of his long-planned new tutoring platform.
And while Jurmey Partodongso, CEO of Jammie Food, found it hard to fit the on-line sessions into his busy business schedule, he still found the sessions useful in identifying new sales strategies and ways to communicate with his team. After YLAI, he is determined to seek out greater diversity while recruiting new employees.
Along with Mook, Kartoredjo, and Partodongso, two other Surinamese entrepreneurs were chosen to join this year’s YLAI program: Anuradha Lachman, co-founder of 5999CargoSU; and Maya Parbhoe, CEO of OuroX.
Even Surinamese who do not take part as YLAI Fellows can still benefit from this program through the YLAI Network – a free, on-line resource available for anyone looking to improve their business skills. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to join the YLAI Network to access free courses and materials to help their businesses grow. Full details on this can be found at ylai.state.gov.
“Suriname and the U.S. share a passion for entrepreneurship, and we at the U.S. Embassy are excited to be able to offer the YLAI Network to help business owners of all experience levels professional tools and resources they can really use to strengthen their business,” said U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Jake Goshert. “Our goal is a joint prosperity, a flourishing Suriname with healthy business ties to the U.S.”