Washington, D.C. April 28, 2023 – The Cities Summit of the Americas was the setting for the establishment of the agreement between the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) and the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) for three years of collaboration to support the youth of the Americas and the grassroots communities that work with young people in strengthening their leadership capacities and skills, entrepreneurship and interaction in the ecosystem.
Sara Aviel, President and CEO of Inter-American Foundation affirmed that: “We are going to keep pushing to make opportunities available to more business leaders, specially those that don’t fit that stereotypical mode of what we see as a business, rather than the young people in rural areas, historically marginalized communities, indigenous people, African ascendant, people with disability”.
Based on the success of the previous collaboration in 2020, YABT and IAF seek to continue strengthening opportunities for youth in the Americas, to promote a culture of entrepreneurship and leadership in the next three years, leading activities such as: (1) work with youth-led organizations young entrepreneurs, young innovators, and community leaders to facilitate and help them in accessing international grants; (2) provide a platform for the acceleration of business ideas and projects; (3) facilitate greater participation and leadership of women and young people in various sectors, among others.
In 2021-2022 through the InnovAction Challenge, the YABT, in collaboration with the IAF and the Summits of the Americas Secretariat (SAS) of the Organization of American States (OAS), supported more than 1300 young people from vulnerable populations throughout the continent, who led innovative projects in response to the recovery from COVID-19, focused on four categories: (1) Industry reactivation, (2) Social inequality, (3) Youth Citizen Participation and (4) Gender equity. The program provided a comprehensive follow-up process to all participants through training that included mentoring, knowledge sharing, capacity building, networking, and access to financial resources. The results were presented at the IX Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California.
Valerie Lorena, YABT Executive Director, reinforced the importance of the partnership between the institutions “IAF and the YABT have a lot in common, supporting the work of community-based organizations and youth, working together we are stronger.”
The ceremony was attended by Sara Aviel, President and CEO of the IAF, Josh Blumenfeld, YouTube Manager of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Luis Viguria, CEO of the YABT, Valerie Lorena, Executive Director of the YABT and Abigail Trejo (Youth to Lead), Araceli Luna (Killa Vive Verde), Fermín A. Acosta (Botellas de Amor), Germán Santillán (Oaxacanita Chocolate), María del Mar Jaramillo (Fundación Soy Oportunidad) and Walter Mata (WAS Company), young entrepreneurs from the TIC Americas program, who provided their testimony of having participated in the competition. The event was held as part of the activities of the Emerging Entrepreneurs Village at the Innovation Plaza, a space for young entrepreneurs to showcase their initiatives that contribute to solving the gaps in the development of the cities of the Americas and to a better quality of life for citizens.
Stay tuned for the next steps!
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