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Hitachi Foundation Announces Young Entrepreneur Award

[ 0 ] Feb. 26, 2013 | SBO Editor

The Hitachi Foundation has opened the application process for its 2013 Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur Award. Up to five young entrepreneurs intent on building sustainable businesses and making a difference in the United States will receive $40,000, as well as tools and training to be successful. Applications are due March 28th and can be found at www.hitachifoundation.org.

Now in its fourth year, The Hitachi Foundation’s Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur Program identifies and highlights leaders who are using the power of business to fight poverty in the United States. Selected awardees receive $40,000 over two years, along with leadership development, business mentoring, technical assistance and access to a network of peers and advisors. The Foundation will also host up to ten finalists in Washington, D.C., for a two-day networking event with peers and field leaders.

“We are committed to finding and investing in leaders whose businesses are creating real opportunities for upward mobility for low-wealth individuals in America.” said Barbara Dyer, president and CEO of The Hitachi Foundation. “These young people are using the tools of enterprise to create positive social change; they are doing well while doing good.”

Eligible entrepreneurs are those intending to lift low-wealth people out of poverty in the context of their business. These could range from creating quality jobs, producing new products and services or devising management strategies that propel the business and low-income people forward.

Applicants must have started a business that is now between one and five years old and the entrepreneur must have launched the business before reaching age 30. In addition, the business must be generating revenue for at least the last 12 months. The business can be legally structured as a for-profit or nonprofit enterprise, but must be a revenue-generating model and not rely primarily on grants or donations.

Prior awardees represent a broad range of business sectors, but their common goal is to operate viable businesses that address poverty. They do this in a variety of industries including agriculture/food production, housing, micro-lending, technology, the environment and education.

The 2012 Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs are running businesses that support and place welfare-to-work candidates in South Florida; create learning laboratories for building energy-efficient affordable housing across the United States; revitalize rural farming in the Ozarks; and provide self-employment opportunities in Chicago’s “food deserts.”

To apply for the Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs award and learn more, please visit www.hitachifoundation.org.

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The Hitachi Foundation was established as an independent nonprofit philanthropic organization by Hitachi, Ltd. in 1985. The Foundation seeks to discover, demonstrate and expand business practices that measurably improve economic opportunities for low-wealth individuals in the United States and enhance long-term business value.

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Category: Features