Hitachi Foundation Searching for Young Entrepreneurs Improving US Communities: $40,000 Prize

The Hitachi Foundation’s Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs Program is seeking to identify up to five entrepreneurs who are operating viable businesses that help to improve the lives of low-wealth individuals in America. This is a business competition in which selected entrepreneurs receive $40,000 over two years and have access to additional technical resources to strengthen their business.

Eligible applicants must currently be at least 18 years old and no more than 29 years old when they launched their business. Businesses must be 1-5 years old, and have been generating revenue for at least the past 12 months. The award is open to businesses organized as either for profit or nonprofit, with an earned-income revenue model. Enterprises must create jobs, supply goods or services, or use internal management practices that offer low-wealth individuals in America an opportunity to improve their economic mobility.

The application process is now open. The first round application deadline is March 14, 2011.