Four local youth entrepreneurs for Obama’s Young Leaders initiative

Judason Bess

Four Guyanese have been selected to participate in President Barack Obama’s 2016 Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellows Programme.

Abbigale Loncke
Abbigale Loncke

The Guyana chosen are: Dason Anthony, one of the owners of 592 Dresses, which assists boutiques and local designers to sell, market, and advertise their products through its online marketplace; Judason Bess, co-owner and manager of the Farmacy, which focuses on making agriculture and food production more sustainable; Abbigale Loncke owner of Community Health Care, an agency that delivers home care needs for the elderly, sick, disabled, and children in the comfort of their homes, while training women who are in need of employment and second chances to take up roles as care-givers; and Shaunda Yarde, founder of Coconut Grove, which makes Golden Crunch Coconut Biscuits.

They are joining over 200 other young leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean from October 5.

YLAI, one of four programs within the Young Leaders Initiatives, is a part of President Obama’s commitment to empower young people around the world and ensure they have the tools, skills, and networks to tackle our shared global challenges.

The participating young leaders will benefit from internships and skills-building workshops, a statement from the US Embassy Georgetown said on Wednesday.

Dason Anthony
Dason Anthony

President Obama launched YLAI to build linkages between young leaders across the hemisphere and to expand opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs and civil society leaders.

Over the five-week program, the fellows will learn and share their experiences in start-ups, small businesses, non-governmental organizations, and similar entities in cities throughout the United States and in partnership with community groups and American universities.

Shaunda Yarde
Shaunda Yarde

Additionally, the participants will further develop their business or social venture plans through an entrepreneurship curriculum and workshops, and by working alongside their American counterparts.

The 250 selected business and social entrepreneurs represent 35 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and have demonstrated the energy of this generation to build stronger, more prosperous, and more secure communities throughout the hemisphere.  Their areas of interest include agriculture, clean energy, consulting, e-commerce, education, entrepreneurship development and support, food and beverage, food security, health care, hospitality, LGBTI rights, marketing and branding, mobile applications, and women and youth empowerment.

The programme will conclude in November.