Investors' Circle Partners with The Hitachi Foundation to Support Young Entrepreneur Awardees

2013 Application Process Now Open
Mar 18, 2013 9:00 AM ET
Campaign: Partners in Impact

March 18, 2013 /3BL Media/ - After three years of successful collaboration, Investors’ Circle is again providing targeted support to The Hitachi Foundation’s Young Entrepreneurs program – a highlight of which is the Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur Award.

The application process for the 2013 Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur Award is now open. 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

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.

Investors’ Circle brings twenty years of experience and the world’s largest network of investors dedicated to investing in social and environmental enterprises. IC's focus within the Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs program is to provide one-on-one mentorship to emerging impact entrepreneurs.  The hope is to support the development of earlier stage companies, that will create an even stronger pipeline of companies that address dramatic disparities in our current economic system.   

“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

View the 2012 Yoshiyama Program video on YouTube.

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Founded in 1992, Investors’ Circle is the oldest, largest and most successful early-stage impact investing network worldwide. Promoting a transition to a sustainable economy, together with hundreds of angels, venture capitalists, foundations and family offices, we have propelled $168 million, plus $4 billion in follow-on, has been invested into 269 enterprises and funds dedicated to improving the environment, education, health, and community. Media kit for Investors' Circle can be found here.

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.


Contact Sally Steele +1 (415) 255-6844 ext. 110 Investors' Circle Stephen Meeter +1 (202) 255-1932 Hitachi Foundation