Hitachi Foundation Announces Application Process Open for Young Entrepreneurs Program

Washington (PRESS RELEASE – February 5, 2011) – The Hitachi Foundation reignited its search for young entrepreneurs whose business enterprises are creating economic opportunities for low-wealth individuals in America. The Foundation opened the application process for The Hitachi Foundation’s Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs Program, seeking to identify five entrepreneurs, awarding each $40,000 over two years, and providing technical resources to strengthen their business.

“Now in its second year, the Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs Program is a business competition with an important twist: we are looking for young entrepreneurs, wherever they may be, whatever their business may be, who have put social sustainability on par with financial sustainability,” said Dr. Bruce MacLaury, Chair of the Foundation. “The program allows us to learn from innovative, young business leaders about how to build and run a financially sustainable business that improves the lives of low-wealth individuals in this country.”

Eligible applicants must currently be at least 18 years old and no more than 29 years old when they launched their business. Businesses must be 1-5 years old, and have been generating revenue for at least the past 12 months. The award is open to businesses organized as either for profit or nonprofit, with an earned-income revenue model. Their enterprise must create jobs, supply goods or services, or use internal management practices that offer low-wealth individuals in America an opportunity to improve their economic mobility.

The first round application deadline is March 14, 2011.

In addition to the cash prize of $40,000 over two years, Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs will benefit from a partnership with Investors’ Circle (IC) — a nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to catalyze the flow of investment to support entrepreneurs that address major social and environmental issues. Investors’ Circle will match an IC member mentor with each of the Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs, creating relationships based on entrepreneur needs and mentor expertise.

About The Hitachi Foundation

The Hitachi Foundation was established as an independent nonprofit philanthropic organization by Hitachi, Ltd. in 1985. Governed by a Board of Directors composed of highly accomplished Americans, the Foundation seeks to discover and expand business practices that create tangible and enduring economic opportunities for low-wealth Americans, their families, and the communities in which they reside.

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