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U.S. Embassy Selects USG Alumna Lakeisha Rolle to Receive $20,000 to Empower Young Entrepreneurs

On Tuesday, September 26, U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Usha Pitts announced The Financial Academy founder, Lakeisha Rolle was selected to receive $20,000 from the U.S. Government Alumni Small Grant Competition. The grant will assist hundreds of young Bahamians in expanding their financial knowledge and business acumen.

U.S. Embassy Nassau has selected Lakeisha Rolle to receive a $20,000 grant to implement Impact 200:  Business Skills for Beginners, Youth Entrepreneurship Program.   Rolle’s program was selected amongst 17 applications from U.S. Government exchange program alumni.

Rolle, The Financial Academy founder, is a 2022 alumna of the U.S. Embassy Nassau’s Young Leaders of the Americas (YLAI) Fellowship.

YLAI promotes U.S. business models, increases trade, encourages job creation, and builds lasting and sustainable networks of young entrepreneurs, business and social leaders across Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States. 

Through Rolle’s Impact 200 program, participants will learn the fundamentals of financial literacy, the benefits of entrepreneurship and how to take a business idea from concept to reality.  The program will utilize the U.S. Junior Achievement (JA) Be Entrepreneurial curriculum.

“Your project supports young entrepreneurs in The Bahamas. This is something the U.S. Embassy fully supports as well and so it gives me great pleasure that you are the winner of the Small Grants Competition,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Usha Pitts in making the surprise announcement to Rolle on Tuesday, September 26, at the Embassy.

As a financial literacy educator, it is important to Rolle to teach children how to earn money not only as a worker but also through entrepreneurial pursuits.

“This program is designed to take those students from business startup to the phase where they are able to produce their product and make a profit,” said Rolle. 

During the seven-week, after school program participants will evaluate their business ideas, map out a business plan, project revenue and expenses and ultimately, establish philanthropic projects.  Lakeisha plans to launch the program in January 2024. 

On Tuesday, September 26, staff of U.S. Embassy’s Public Diplomacy section met with Lakeisha Rolle, this year’s winner of the mission’s Alumni Small Grant Competition. From left to right: Public Engagement Specialist Chanelle Clare, Rolle, Public Affairs Officer Suemayah Abu-Douleh and Public Engagement Specialist and Alumni Coordinator Lisa Moxey.