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 28 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 10 finalists in Washington, D.C., for a two-day networking event with peers and field leaders.
Miami's Vanessa Bartram (WorkSquare) was chosen as a 2012 Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur for her success in human resources recruitment of low-income workers, as well as a related financial literacy program to ensure their longer-term financial stability and independence (see opening section of YouTube video here. Other 2012 winners 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.”
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.