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About YABT
Young Americas Business Trust

The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) is a nonprofit 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: Connecting young entrepreneurs and national associations in a regional network, with opportunities to form a new generation of responsible business leaders.

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.

Technology: Utilizing the potential of internet to provide information and to form networks of learning, business opportunities and virtual communities.

Resources and Alliances: Working through international alliances and national chapters that provide technical and financial support to develop young entrepreneurs programs for the new generation of businessmen and businesswomen.

YABT programs have a positive impact on all aspects of young people’s lives. Since its creation, it has bolstered more than 40,000 young people in 75 countries through programs and activities that permit young people to be productive members of their communities, opening a space so that they can act as partners contributing to the development of their countries and the region.

Meet our team:

  • Luis Viguria
    Chief Executive Officer

    Luis Viguria was born and raised in Peru and graduated in Social Sciences with a minor in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and graduated from the Global Master of Arts Program in International Relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University. He arrived to YABT more than 10 years ago, and he found in the organization not only his workplace but also his daily motivation to give the best out of him every day.

  • Valerie Lorena
    Executive Director

    Valerie is responsible for design, implementation and expansion of hemipheric and subregional programs on youth entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation involving multiple sectors and international stakeholders in Latin America and the Caribbean. Before joining YABT in 2005, Lorena worked for the International Affairs Department of Universidad UCO in Queretaro, Mexico where she was in charge of students’ mobility and institutional agreements. Lorena has a background on international business and holds a Trilateral-MBA from the following universities Western Illinois University in the U.S., Université de Moncton in Canada and Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro in Mexico

  • Fernanda Abogado
    Administration and Finance Officer

    Fernanda holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting with a focus on consulting from LaSalle University in Pachuca, Hidalgo. For the past 3 years, She worked in managing fiscal accounts for a variety of private and public firms. Currently, Fernanda manages the finance and administration of YABT.

  • Ignacio Garza
    I.T. Manager

    Ignacio is a Software Development Engineer from TEC Milenio University. He has more than 5 years of experience in business development for young entrepreneurs and SMEs creation in Mexico and the rest of Latin America. Currently, Ignacio serves as IT Manager for YABT.

  • Edgar Maestre
    Latin America Program Manager

    Edgar is Business Administrator with emphasis in Marketing from Latin University. He currently serves as Program Manager for Latin America YABT. He has international experience in managing programs and initiatives in the field of youth entrepreneurship and leadership, cooperation and institutional relationships.

  • Akarda Ventour
    Gerente de Programas para o Caribe

    Akarda is the Program Manager for the Caribbean for the YABT. Her focus is in youth development with special interest in the areas of entrepreneurship and poverty reduction among Caribbean youths. She is from Grenada and received her BSc. in Management from the St George's University, Grenada.

  • José Clautier
    Program Officer

    José has a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree from the University of Buenos Aires where he also worked as assistant professor for Advanced Statistics for two years. His previous experience includes working as a consultant for the Embassy of El Salvador in Argentina, investment banking and pension fund management. 

  • Lorena Julio
    Communications Officer

    Lorena is from Agentina, Shi is a Specialist in Public Polcy and earned a Bachelor in Social Communication. Her entire professional career was developed in the framework of the promotion, protection of human rights and working with vulnerable groups. She is founder of Comparlante, social entrepreneurship focused on people with disabilities. Lorena is YABT's Communications Officer.

  • Teresa Gonzalez
    Program Officer

    Teresa is from Mexico. She is a Master in Cultural Engineering and earned a Bachelor in Communications. As a social entrepreneur she founded two organizations and worked with diverse marginalized communities that include indigenous, gypsies, and addicts. With experience in Mexico, Spain, India, and the USA, she is now working as a Program Officer at YABT.

  • Beatriz Calvo

    Beatriz Calvo has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis on Graphic Design from the University of Costa Rica. Beatriz provides graphical support for the promotional materials of YABT and has also developed graphics for academic campaigns and art expositions. She also teaches young entrepreneurs about graphic designs and how to design logos for their businesses through the YABT BOOT Camp.

  • Beatriz La Grotta

    Beatriz La Grotta es panameña de nacimiento, cursando último semestre de la Licenciatura en Gestión Administrativa en la Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá. Posee experiencia en áreas administrativas y contables en compañías panameñas. Como joven líder, ha participado en encuentros y talleres de liderazgo. En YABT colabora en los programas de capacidades y habilidades empresariales en la región. Ella considera que la oportunidad de ser parte del equipo le brinda la oportunidad no solo de crecer profesionalmente, sino también personalmente.

  • Paola López

    Paola López es venezolana de nacimiento y graduada en Relaciones Internacionales por la Universidad de las Américas Puebla, México. Se encuentra apoyando principalmente lo relacionado al Foro de Jóvenes de las Américas, y mantiene fiel interés en temas que buscan mejoras en términos sociales y de oportunidades para jóvenes, encontrando en YABT la posibilidad de ampliar sus canales de acción.

  • Yrangela Lavorgna

    Yrangela es licenciada en Estudios Liberales de la Universidad Metropolitana de la Ciudad de Caracas, Venezuela. Cuenta con un Diplomado en Historia Contemporánea de Venezuela de la Fundación Rómulo Betancourt, y se desempeñó por más de un año como Gerente del Departamento de Atención al Cliente en Econométrica I.E. Actualmente, se encuentra realizando una pasantía profesional en el Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) en la Ciudad de Panamá.

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