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Culture Corner: Engaging the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Article by:

Karen Summerson
EO Global

Every year, EO commits to expanding its impact beyond the borders of member offerings, specifically through partnerships with other world-class organizations and opportunities made possible with member and staff contributions. Our upcoming fiscal year will be a milestone in EO’s outreach to up-and-coming entrepreneurs as we help host the 2016 Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) through a partnership with Meridian International and the U.S. State Department.

With the next generation of entrepreneurs in mind, YLAI was launched by U.S. President Barack Obama to “build linkages between young leaders across the hemisphere,” as well as address the opportunity gap for minorities by empowering young leaders with the training, tools, resources and networks they need to thrive. After a successful pilot program that engaged 24 Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) entrepreneurs, 250 YLAI fellowships will be awarded to rising, young business and social entrepreneurs throughout the LAC region. This fellowship consists of a paid, five-week trip to the U.S. for one-on-one mentorship, cultural experiences and business learning.

Keeping pace with this progress, EO has already played a big role in making this experience possible for the incoming YLAI fellows. We have advertised these fellowship opportunities to LAC entrepreneurs through organizational and member networks, as well as engaged EO’s social media readership to help spread the word. In addition, under our stewardship, all EO GSEA finalists from LAC have applied. We are continuing to help fill these fellowship positions by reviewing applications and interviewing top applicants— that’s members, Chapter Administrators and global EO staff members working together to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in the Americas!

We’re most excited, though, for the opportunity to expand EO’s influence in a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and position the organization locally as a go-to resource for rising entrepreneurs. For example, during the opening session in Dallas, Texas, USA, we will be Forum-training all 250 YLAI fellows— in one day. Afterward, we will be connecting many EO members with these fellows through small chapter events. We can’t wait to share our knowledge and business insight with the YLAI fellows and model how important experience-sharing and peer-to-peer relationships are to a healthy and successful entrepreneurial journey. More importantly, we are thrilled to work with these amazing young people and help them envision the impact they will continue to make in business and beyond.

For more information about EO’s involvement in YLAI, contact Miranda Barrett, Vice President of External Engagement, at mbarrett@eonetwork.org.​​​​​​​​

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