Local entrepreneur, Shannon Ferguson, begins her prestigious Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) fellowship today. She is one of 260 fellows from 37 countries in the Western hemisphere and one of seven people representing Canada in the program. Over 2000 people applied for the program.
Launched in 2015, the U.S. Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) empowers emerging business and social entrepreneurs from across Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States, to realize the full economic potential of the region’s citizens.
The fellowship was originally supposed to take place last summer and would have seen Shannon travelling to Arizona (for opening ceremonies), Washington, DC (for closing ceremonies) and to San Diego to work with her host company for four weeks in between.
Due to the current pandemic, the fellowship has moved completely online and will be taking place virtually over the next eight weeks.
“While it would have been amazing to do the fellowship in person and be in San Diego right now, I’m grateful that YLAI and IREX were able to pull this off virtually and I look forward to all the things I will learn.”
Ferguson is the Co-Founder & CEO of FanSaves, a local startup that helps sports teams and organizations. The platform offers people discounts and deals from sponsors and members of sports teams, organizations and more and is currently working with 43 organizations and helping over 450 businesses across North America.
Ferguson grew up in Cornwall and currently lives in South Glengarry, Ontario.
“I am honoured to be among such an elite group of fellows and to have the chance to improve my leadership skills and apply everything I learn to my own startup, FanSaves”.
In addition to entrepreneurial leadership training, YLAI Fellows build new skills, share best practices, and forge commercial ties. U.S. Embassies and Consulates organize activities with YLAI Professional Fellows, network members, diverse young leaders, and vulnerable populations, to support entrepreneurial ecosystems.