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Youth Entrepreneurship Programs: A Landscape

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The Hitachi Foundation shares Youth Entrepreneuership Programs: A Landscape.

Youth_Entrepreneuership_ProgramsThe Hitachi Foundation launched the Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs Program in 2010. This program seeks to identify and support inspiring entrepreneurs under the age of 30 who are operating businesses that help to improve the lives of low-wealth individuals in America. Given our primary interest in the role of business in society, our entrepreneurs must either be operating for-profit enterprises or non-profit enterprises that rely primarily on earned income. Prior to the program launch, the Foundation spent 18 months conducting research on entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and youth entrepreneurship to determine whether our foundation, with a mission to create an authentic integration between business and societal wellbeing in America, could contribute to the broader field in a meaningful way.

This document represents an element of that research. We identified several entrepreneurship programs serving young entrepreneurs and mapped them by age and program focus. Given our foundation’s focus on discovering and expanding business practices that create tangible and enduring economic opportunities for low-wealth individuals and their families in the United States, we wanted to identify youth entrepreneurship programs focused in that area. While we found many programs that support for-benefit businesses, many of these do not concentrate on issues of domestic poverty. As such we elected to not include them in this overview. We also did not include the multiple domestic and/or international programs that focused primarily on environmental issues.

We recognize that this is not an exhaustive list and encourage input and comments. We hope to add to this landscape of Youth Entrepreneurship Programs to continue learning about other great opportunities that support young entrepreneurs throughout the country.

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