Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI)

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) empowers Latin American entrepreneurs to advance their business know-how and build their venture (business or enterprise) through exposure to the Chicago entrepreneurial ecosystem. Entrepreneurs are placed in four-week fellowships at start-ups, small enterprises, small business groups, and NGOs, where they spend time job shadowing, work as part of a team on a project, join client meetings, and do industry-specific research.

A Broader Impact

Chicago host organizations have the opportunity to travel aboard to their fellow’s community to implement a joint-project for broader impact in the region.

YLAI posing bridge

Through my fellowship, I learned more about my industry and started partnerships with museums and stores with the aim of selling toys and games in Chicago, helping to educate and inspire positive images of Mexico on both sides of the border.

Sofia, Mexico, YLAI Fellow 2017, CEO of Puercomonte


The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Fellowship is a U.S. Department of State program with funding provided by the U.S. government and administered by IREX. WorldChicago is proud to implement this program in partnership with IREX.

YLAI Latin America Fellows

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