Dallas Entrepreneur Selected for Global Initiative on Design and Entrepreneurship
The U.S. Department of State selected Dallas-based designer and entrepreneur Steven Kinder as one of 45 leaders sponsored to implement entrepreneurial and community development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Professional Fellows Reciprocal Exchange Program during 2018. Steven is the CEO and founder of Dallas-based Loftwall and Co-founder of GoodWork, a newly-opened Dallas coworking space. Kinder’s ten-day took place this July and featured several contextual connections to artisans, architects, manufacturers and universities where he shared his knowledge and education on design, entrepreneurship, real estate development and startup investing, focusing on how to scale their local businesses based on his background and experience.
“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to listen, connect and educate my fellow designers, artists and entrepreneurs in El Salvador. Starting a business anywhere is about having the tenacity and resources to execute on an idea, and it is my hope that my experiences and insight will help spark new opportunities and connections to accelerate entrepreneurship for El Salvador,” said Kinder.
Highlights of Kinder’s tour included a visit with a local company that produces brooms from recycled plastic sourced from both local and international markets and a stopover to Puro Surf, a world-class academy and boutique that takes advantage of this surfing paradise to create a business that both cares for its community and seeks to make a positive impact. He also met with Sherwin Williams Central America President Juan Francisco Sifontes in San Bartolo to discuss the importance of supporting new designers and encouraging LEED certifications promoting integrative design.
Kinder also engaged with business and design students in San Salvador during IDWEEK at the first Salvadoran design store focused on products such as housewares and furniture. He lead design thinking explorations with LERO Studio in La Libertad; the training was based on his tools and involvement in Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s (EO) Accelerator Program, of which he was Chair in Dallas for several years. He ended the visit by developing potential collaborations with LERO Studio and other manufacturing companies in El Salvador that hope to do business in the United States.
Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and implemented by Meridian International Center and locally by World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, YLAI builds linkages between young leaders across the hemisphere and addresses the opportunity gap for youth, especially women, by empowering business and social entrepreneurs through exchanges between the United States and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.