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Anichell Thomas makes it into the finals

Anichell Thomas – an enterprising young woman from the big parish of St Andrew

At least one Grenadian and her small business in rural St Andrew has made it into the finals of a U.S government sponsored business programme.

She is Anichell Thomas, a young female activist who was once associated with the New National Party (NNP) but supported the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its candidate Dr. Tessa St Cyr (St. Andrew North-east) in the last general election held just over a year ago.

Thomas has received communication from the U.S Department of State to notify her that she was able to make it into the finals of the 2024 Young Leaders of the Americas initiative (YLASL) Fellowship program.

The young Grenadian was selected from among more than 2500 applicants from 37 countries for the prestigious programme that brings together 280 “of the best and brightest emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders from across the Western Hemisphere for an intensive entrepreneurial leadership development program.”

Speaking to THE NEW TODAY on Wednesday about her feat, Thomas said the Young Leaders of the Americas initiative is “a kind of exchange program”, as well as “a business challenge” for participants in Latin America and the Caribbean.

She stated that one of the benefits is that it can help those involved to develop their skills, engage in networking, as well as to do expansion work on their businesses.

According to the young businesswoman there was an application process which took place and she emerged from among two other locals.

“I applied in February of this year then we were short-listed for the semi-finals. We had to do a business challenge document and an interview at the US Embassy here in Grenada and we had to wait to see if we made it into the final rounds,” she said.

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Thomas disclosed that there are financial incentives at stake for the winning participants in the programme because if they like her business idea they can get people to invest and provide her with the opportunity to “get assistance in the expansion that I want to do.”

She said that the orientation for the 2024 version of the programme will be held virtually in October.

Thomas is due to leave Grenada in March for the finals that will take place in the States of Washington, DC and Texas.

She said that participants will be placed in a state related to their business idea and as she is into farming will be assigned to Houston, Texas.

“…Based on what your business idea is, they will put you in a State where you are able to see what’s happening, how it’s done because you get to learn about your kind of business while you are there,” she added.

Thomas attracted national attention during the 2018-22 term in office of the NNP of then Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell when she launched an attack on the party’s flagship programme known as The Imani.

In a session which included the then Grenadian leader, she openly complained that the programme was not uplifting people out of their plight after a decade of involvement and that the young people needed something much more to advance with their lives.

Thomas blasted the Imani programme as badly lacking in scope as none of the participants were able to approach a financial institution for a loan to build a home.

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