Three Guyanese women to benefit from entrepreneurship, leadership training
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THREE female Guyanese entrepreneurs will benefit from entrepreneurship and leadership training, and networking opportunities under the U.S. Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship Program.

According to a release from the US Embassy in Georgetown, the local entrepreneurs, Filisha Duke, Joylyn John, and Maleka Russell will be part of a three-month virtual fellowship between January and April 2021. During this time, they will join 260 other young leaders from 37 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada. They are expected to complete the YLAI Entrepreneurial Leadership Curriculum, and will work with a US host organisation for four weeks.

The Guyanese will also be paired with a designated mentor, and collaborate with other fellows to address shared foreign policy challenges throughout the exchange. They are also expected to engage in live events and cross-cultural activities.

“The program is a collaborative, enriching experience that combines technical entrepreneurship training with leadership development and networking opportunities,” the release stated.

Filisha Duke, who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sure Gig, has experience in securing contracts, and building key partnerships to facilitate the company’s objectives. During the fellowship, she aims to learn effective approaches to managing and maintaining financial growth, strategies on increasing market share, brand awareness and sales, and how to facilitate scaling and expansion.

Managing Director for Juneberry Gy, Joylyn John, has experience in leadership, the retail market, and vast knowledge in business operations. Through this fellowship, the release noted, she aims to learn about the legal side of running a business, both locally and internationally, sharpen her leadership skills and her “know how” on approaching investors with investment proposals, and learn how to have the highest returns possible in her business.

And Maleka Russell, who is the owner of Green Valley Organics, has experience in insect and pest control, shade house vegetable cultivation technologies, and climate-smart agricultural practices, aims to learn about business development, developing a business model for agricultural sustainability, and engaging with other entrepreneurs as they promote healthy lifestyles through better nutrition.

The 2021 YLAI Fellowship Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The three Guyanese have been selected out of over 2,300 applicants.

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