NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The US Embassy Nassau recently highlighted the third young Bahamian entrepreneur who recently participated in the US Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) 2020 cohort, Janiece Saunders.
This year, the program temporarily transitioned to an all-virtual six-week exchange due to COVID-19 restrictions. Despite the program not being an in-person exchange, Saunders still found the program to be engaging and a rewarding experience.
As the owner of Bee U Nique, Saunders prides herself on providing quality customer service. During the fellowship, she got an opportunity to learn about how to create greater social impact through beekeeping and hydroponic farming and innovative agricultural practices.
Since completing the program, Saunders plans to create another hydroponic system to be used in a greenhouse setting and introduce a farmer’s market and beekeeping workshops in her community.
“My YLAI experience will be unforgettable, from being selected as a finalist in 2019, the process of transitioning virtually in 2021, partnering with my host organization ‘Follow the Honey’, our opening and closing ceremony, my mentor, the facilitators, as well as getting to know the fellows that were a part of the Boston cohort, to the remainder of fellows that I met during our curriculum debrief sessions,” she said.
“Everyone was open, warm and welcoming and did not hesitate to assist where they could. I’ve made connections that I’ve never thought possible and learned a lot about myself as a leader and what I can now achieve to not only better myself but my community at large.
“[I am] making those goals into actions now.”
YLAI empowers entrepreneurs to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. The annual YLAI program is open for young Bahamian entrepreneurs ages 25 to 35 to apply.
For more information, visit https://ylai.state.gov/about-ylai.