Communities across the country are struggling to find ways to improve the lives of low-income individuals. While innovation has always been part of the American story, we have yet to innovate a solution to the curse and cruelty of poverty in the United States. We construct skyscrapers and launch people into outer space, but it's still a challenge for those on the margins to find a stable ladder upward. The Hitachi Foundation is committed to finding and investing in young leaders who want to succeed and take their communities with them. They are America's newest generation of entrepreneurs whose businesses are about making a living and making a difference.
Our Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs Program identifies and supports inspiring young entrepreneurs whose work helps alleviate domestic poverty. This competitive program is open to entrepreneurs who are operating viable businesses in the United States with the dual purpose of making a difference and making a living. Eligible entrepreneurs must have launched their business before they reached age 30. Their business must be between one and five years old. For complete eligibility requirements see Selection Process.
In addition to a $40,000 grant, we provide awardees the ingredients they need to succeed, including leadership development, business mentoring, technical assistance and access to a network of peers and advisers. With our support and the support of our partner organizations — including Investors' Circle, Social Venture Network, B Lab, and PICnet — these individuals can take their work and communities to the next level.
We believe the solutions to poverty are out there. The key is to support and amplify the work of those who are doing well and doing good — the innovators of our time who reach for the sky from the ground up.
The world is plagued by problems: drugs, violence, discrimination, poverty, and environmental destruction. The more serious these issues become, the harder many of us try to ignore them...I believe that each of us must take the initiative in addressing society's problems as if they were our own individual concerns.If we do, we can surmount today's difficulties and create a brighter world for people everywhere.
Former Chairman Emeritus, Hitachi, Ltd.