The Hitachi Foundation
The Hitachi Foundation
The Hitachi Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, philanthropic organization established by Hitachi, Ltd. in 1985. The Foundation believes that business has an essential role to play in addressing the complex global challenges of our time.
The mission of The Hitachi Foundation is to forge an authentic integration of business actions and societal wellbeing in North America. Our strategic focus through 2013 is 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.
The Foundation has three signature programs — Business and Work; the Hitachi Community Action Partnership; and the Yoshiyama Program. Each of these helps us discover what can be done to make the pursuit of profit in business and the pursuit of healthy communities a symbiotic endeavor. The Business & Work grants program examines the role of business as employers; the Hitachi Community Action Partnership supports the role of business in the community as good corporate citizens; and the Yoshiyama Program focuses on the next generation of business leaders.
What is the Foundation's definition of "addressing barriers to economic security" as it relates to the Yoshiyama Program?
The Foundation's strategic focus through 2013 revolves around discovering and expanding business practices that create tangible and enduring economic opportunities for low-wealth Americans, their families, and the communities in which they reside. The Yoshiyama Program is casting the net broadly. We want to encourage and honor entrepreneurs' varied internal and external approaches and strategies toward the goal of addressing barriers to economic security. These may include, but are not limited to, structuring management practices, hiring and location decisions, and addressing broader leadership challenges with a deliberate focus on a
Mr. Hirokichi Yoshiyama was Chairman of Hitachi, Ltd. in the 1980s and was key in the creation of The Hitachi Foundation. Upon his retirement in 1987 he donated personal funds from his pension to the Foundation. These funds seeded the Yoshiyama Award for Exemplary Service to the Community, which the Foundation operated from 1988-2008.
What is the Yoshiyama Program and how does it differ from the former Yoshiyama Award for Exemplary Service to the Community?
The Yoshiyama Program aims to discover inspiring young entrepreneurs operating businesses in the United States that are both financially viable and supporting low-wealth individuals by addressing barriers to economic security in America. This approach differs from the former Yoshiyama Award for Exemplary Service to the Community in that it moves beyond honoring young people for the changes they have made and instead, recognizes and rewards young people for the changes they are making, now and into the future. It also differs in that it focuses the award on young entrepreneurs and their quest to help low-wealth individuals in a targeted community in the United States overcome one or more barriers to economic security, instead of recognizing high school seniors' broader social change efforts. This change fully integrates the Yoshiyama Program with the mission and strategic focus of the Foundation.
We anticipate selecting up to 5 entrepreneurs in 2011.
The Award includes a cash prize of $40,000 total for two years. In addition, The Foundation will provide entrepreneurs access to technical assistance through a partnership with Investors' Circle and will support a peer learning/mentoring network. Entrepreneurs from the 2011 and 2010 classes also received memberships and other specialized services with Social Venture Network.
The Yoshiyama Program aims to discover and support the next generation of young business leaders as part of the overall Foundation strategic plan. While the Foundation recognizes business leaders of all ages are forging new paths in terms of social-benefit business, the Yoshiyama name has a two-decade history of honoring young people. Maintaining an age limit with a focus on social-benefit business both honors the legacy of this program while meeting current mission goals.
No. The Yoshiyama Program is focused on businesses that are 1-5 years old and have been generating revenue for a minimum of the past 12 months. You are encouraged to apply to the Yoshiyama Program in future years after your business has reached that milestone.
Mentors are matched with selected entrepreneurs based on the entrepreneur's business needs and the mentor's expertise and interest. This process is currently managed by the Foundation's partner Investors' Circle.
My business is located in the United States but my primary community is international — am I still eligible to apply?
No. Both the business location and the primary beneficiaries must be US-based.
I operate a social-benefit business with an intent other than helping low-wealth individuals address barriers to economic security. Am I still eligible to apply?
No. The Yoshiyama Program is focused solely on low-wealth individuals in America. You may be eligible if the business benefits low-wealth individuals and another social purpose simultaneously. For example, a business that improves low-income housing energy efficiency might have a beneficial result for low-wealth individuals and the environment.
My business achieves its social mission by donating a portion of its profits to philanthropic causes. Am I eligible to apply?
No. While implementing a general philanthropic response to community issues is valuable and valid, this Program aims to move beyond traditional corporate giving and philanthropy. Businesses that have this as their primary vehicle for community change would not be eligible to apply.
Please note, these examples are for general guidance only. They are not meant to limit your application or business strategy. We expect that there are businesses operating well outside of the industries and approaches referenced below.
We encourage you to review the Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs' information as potential examples. As indicated, these are meant for general guidance and are not intended to limit your application or strategy.
The Application Timeline can be found here. You will be notified via email if you are invited to continue in the application process. Further instructions will be sent with that email communication.