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About YABT

The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) is a nonprofit international organization that works in cooperation with the Organization of American States (OAS) to promote social and economic development of young people around the world. While building entrepreneurial capacity and creating opportunities for future business leaders, the YABT community advances the global goals and strengthens youth-led initiatives for sustainable development.

YABT has four focus areas to support youth ventures, especially those working on poverty reduction, employment, climate change, peace and democracy.

Leadership

Leadership: Connecting young entrepreneurs and national associations in a regional network, with opportunities to form a new generation of responsible business leaders.

Leadership

Business skills and training: Emphasizing practical experience to generate an entrepreneurial spirit and foster innovation in young people, while motivating them and leading them through a “real life” business experience.

Leadership

Technology: Tapping on the potential of connections, support networks and collaboration platforms to create business opportunities and a vibrant community of global actors supporting youth development.

Leadership

Resources and Alliances: Working through international alliances and national chapters that provide technical and financial support to young entrepreneurs.

YABT programs have a positive impact on all aspects of young people’s lives. Since its creation, it has bolstered more than 100,000 young people in 75 countries through programs and activities that permit young people to be productive members of their communities. YABT creates participation programs for young people to become partners in the development of programs and policies at national, hemispheric and global levels.

Meet our team

Luis Viguria
Luis Viguria
Chief Executive Officer

Valerie Lorena
Valerie Lorena
Executive Director

Edgar Maestre
Edgar Maestre
Latin America Program Manager

Akarda Ventour
Akarda Ventour
Caribbean Program Manager

Beatriz Calvo
Beatriz Calvo
Designer

Sergio Camus
Sergio Camus
IT Manager

Rafael Pinto
Rafael Pinto
Strategic Advisor

Rosario Garavito
Rosario Garavito
Eco-Challenge Coordinator

Board of Directors

Mrs. Yadira Soto
Mrs. Yadira Soto
Chair of the Board of Directors
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Mrs. Glynis Long
Mrs. Glynis Long
Treasurer
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Mrs. Georgina Nunez
Mrs. Georgina Nunez
Director
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Mrs. Wanda Fisher
Mrs. Wanda Fisher
Director
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Mr. Luis Nino
Mr. Luis Nino
Director
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H.E. Denis Antoine
H.E. Denis Antoine
Director
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Mr. Francis McBarnette
Mr. Francis McBarnette
Director
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H.E. Jacinth Henry-Martin
Ambassador Jacinth Henry-Martin
Director
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Ms. Sherry Tross
H.E. Sherry Tross
Director

YABT Alumni

Annelissie Arrazola
Bolivia
Shirly Kalush
Uruguay
Joseph Darnell
United States
Jeanne Long
United States
Eduardo Molina
Mexico
Cecilia Chapiro
Argentina
Isabella Troconis
Venezuela
Lorena Julio
Argentina

History of YABT

  1. 1999

    - YABT was founded

    - YABT and OEA signed collaboration agreement

  2. 2001

    - YABT and State of Israel sealed alliance. YABT's first ally outside of America was concrete.

    - YABT presented the first draft of Business Labs.

    - The Business Labs were one of the four initiatives included in the Plan of Action for the Tenth Conference of the First Ladies of the Americas, held in Quito, Ecuador in 2001.

  3. 2002

    - The OAS, through FEMCIDI, granted first non-reimbursable financing for the execution of the Business Labs.

  4. 2003

    - First Leadership Liaison in Washington, DC was held and it created a network of organizations of young entrepreneurs and leaders in the Americas

    - First Regional Workshops, Business Labs, were executed in Ecuador, led by experts from MASHAV / MCTC Israel.

    - YABT became a strategic partner of the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) of the World Bank. Since then, more than 30 global dialogues have been held in the continent.

  5. 2004

    - YABT and ICDF Taiwan established a partnership to support networks of young entrepreneurs. This being the second ally outside the Americas.

    - Second Leadership Link took place in Cancun, Mexico. Local and regional organizations of young entrepreneurs signed collaboration agreements.

    - YABT and Israel begun the execution of international courses in Haifa, Israel. Since then, each year they hold two international courses in Spanish and English.

  6. 2005

    - YABT and OAS announced the creation of the Youth Forum of the Americas, as a channel for youth participation in the Summit of the Americas process.

    - The first Declaration of Youth was adopted in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on August 12 and on the occasion of International Youth Day.

  7. 2007

    - YABT and OEA launched the first edition of the Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas (TIC Americas). The Finals were developed within the framework of the 37th Ordinary Period of Sessions of the OAS General Assembly in Panama.

    - YABT presented for the first time the recommendations of youth in the plenary of the 37th General Assembly of the OAS in Panama.

    - The Permanent Council of the OAS incorporated YABT as co-organizer of the OAS Youth Symposium. First youth meeting in the history of the Permanent Council.

  8. 2008

    - The 38th General Assembly of the OAS adopted the Declaration of Medellín "Youth and Democratic Values". YABT begun to set precedents by promoting youth issues in the inter-American agenda.

    - YABT and OEA launched the NexLinks Project "Networks of Links for Young Entrepreneurs", with non-reimbursable financing from FEMCIDI-OAS.

  9. 2009

    - The OAS Member States recognized young people as Social Actors of the Summit of the Americas. Second Youth Forum of the Americas took place in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, as the first activity of the V Summit of the Americas.

  10. 2010

    - YABT and the PepsiCo company came together to create Eco-Reto, as a special category of sustainable innovation in TIC Americas. The first Finalists traveled to Lima, Peru, competing for the first Eco-Reto prize.

  11. 2012

    - The First OAS Youth Conference of the Americas took place in Washington, DC, following the mandates of the Declaration of Medellin of the 38th General Assembly. Subsequent editions of the Conference were held during the years 2013 and 2014, led by the Office of the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS.

  12. 2013

    - YABT supports Resolution 67/202 "Entrepreneurship for Development", adopted at the Sixty-seventh Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, in New York City, United States of America. The Resolution had as its proponent the State of Israel, and was preceded by a panel of first level on the subject.

  13. 2014

    - YABT and the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá organized the First International Meeting on High Impact Entrepreneurship, with the presence of more than 200 delegates from 12 countries, and the support of UN Habitat.

  14. 2015

    - The IV Youth Forum of the Americas broke the record of youth participation in the Summit of the Americas process. The youth delivered Declaration of Commitment to Presidents of Costa Rica and Panama, which was elevated to the VII Summit of the Americas.

    - YABT and the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá developed the Second International Meeting on High Impact Entrepreneurship, with the support of the IDB and Tecnológico de Monterrey.

    - YABT co-leads the publication and panel "Young Entrepreneurs as Motors of Sustainable Growth", as part of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, held in Lima, Peru, in October. Since then, YABT has participated in the subsequent Annual and Spring Meetings.

  15. 2016

    - YABT developed the first NexLinks Mission "Exchange of Experiences on Entrepreneurship", visiting four cities in Mexico, with the support of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá.

  16. 2018

    - Young people exhibited for the first time in Plenary of the Summit of the Americas, presented summary of the Declaration of Commitment of the V Forum of Youth of the Americas in the presence of Presidents, Prime Ministers and Chancellors of the Americas.