Fifteen Haitians were selected to be part of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative. Photo via Sludtera

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fifteen Haitian entrepreneurs have been selected to participate in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI), according to the U.S. Department of State, which heads the regional program.

Over the next six months, the Haitian fellows and their counterparts will collaborate with companies and social enterprises in 20 U.S. cities to deepen relationships and increase business ties between the United States and their respective countries, the agency said. Once they complete the program in July, they will join more than 1,000 YLAI Fellowship Program alumni.

Launched in 2015, YLAI  is the State Department’s flagship program for emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders from Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada. It aims to empower emerging entrepreneurs from the Western Hemisphere with the training, tools, networks and resources needed to strengthen economic and social development across the region.

About 280 business and social entrepreneurs from 37 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada were selected for the program implemented by IREX, a global development and education organization. 

The 15 Haitians selected are:

  • Hans Michel Beaugelus, is a founder of GBI (Grow your Business Initiatives) who has experience in securing key partnerships to advance the company’s strategic objectives.
  • Mykerline J Stephane Brice, a Co-Founder, President, and R&D Manager for TourisTIC, with experience in developing and planning activities and events related to tourism
  • Vanessa Charles works in the Community Development sector leading Lev’Elles Up. The company offers service for its customers, and works with mature women but also with girls who are mostly orphans.
  • Witchelle Charles, a local board member and the community service projects coordinator of Kids Connection Haiti (KCH), committed to ensuring that students are able to provide community services aimed to develop their leadership skills as young people.
  • Wilnes Clement is with the Energy and Environment sector leading Smile Urban Farm and Recycling Center (SUFARC), a company that works in the green energy and environment sector and offers training and technical support for recycling and the creation of urban gardens.
  • Mardochee Dumervil, a social entrepreneur who helps farmers to transform their basic raw materials into manufactured products through Union des cadres pour le développement de Villard, UCDV.
  • Hernsley Elie is a Data Analysis and IT sector leading Hernsley Technology and Services that offers technological services, including social network management, passport service, software creation, and computer repair database management
  • Stanley Gousse runs Zesa Raw, the only renewable energy-based agriculture industry in Haiti producing organic cane syrup.
  •  Lisa Jude Georges, founder of Regal who has experience in various aspects of monitoring the peanut value chain in Haiti.
  • Pierre Moise Louis is the founder of Jeremie Breadfruit Flour and Nursery and has experience in defining global strategies for the operation of the company and managing commercial, technical, technological, and other non-administrative activities.
  • Fridler Louis is an energy engineer that focuses on solar, wind, and hydro-energy who works in the Energy and Environment sector leading Haiti’s Unlimited Green Energy.
  • Jenny-Flore Milou works in the Health sector leading Oiseau Bleu Agence de Soins Infirmiers that distinguishes itself in fulfilling patients’ desires and health needs to tmake them happy and empowered.
  • Roland Occelent is an aspiring economist and a technology and computer enthusiast running a technology services company that provides magazine and landing page creation services to small businesses that want to establish a web presence. 
  • Marie Marcelin is an environmental sanitation engineer leading a social business in water treatment with natural resources.
  • Frantz-One is a program Director and President for Alternatives Business Incubator & Accelerator with experience in developing and supervising business incubation and acceleration programs.

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