Three Guyanese chosen for Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative


The U.S. Embassy has announced that three Guyanese entrepreneurs have been chosen for this year’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Programme.

Those chosen are: Jaiana Hirai, an IT trainer who founded a computer training centre; Evi Kanhai-Gurchuran, the Chief Executive and founder of Java Coffee Bar; and Nigel Anthony Peters, a cultivator of organic fruits and vegetables.

The Embassy said the programme will take place in September and October in the United States and the three Guyanese will be joined by 247 other young persons from 36 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The program will begin in Detroit, Michigan and the young entrepreneurs will then engage in four-week fellowships in cities throughout the United States and conclude with a Closing Summit in Washington, D.C.

Hirai’s A+ Computer Training Center, located in West Coast Demerara, provides free and low-cost training courses for young people who cannot afford the fees of traditional IT schools, the Embassy noted, adding that he is an IT Trainer at the University of Guyana and a Certified Network Administrator.

Kanhai-Gurchuran, who runs an artisanal coffee shop, uses locally sourced ingredients and makes almost all of its products from scratch. Evie is also the CEO of EMTEC, a marketing and graphic design firm, and Sites Builders, a product development company.

Of Peters, who founded Arcadia Agri, the Embassy said: “By providing locally grown produce and hiring a young workforce, Arcadia Agri aims to reduce both food imports and youth unemployment in the country.”

The programme is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and empowers entrepreneurs to strengthen their capacity to advance their entrepreneurial ventures and effectively contribute to economic and social development in their communities.

“Business and social entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships in small businesses, non-governmental organizations, and similar entities in 20 cities across the U.S.,” the Embassy stated.

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