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Press Release

SOURCE Initiative Links Entrepreneurs and Investors to Bolster Businesses that Benefit Low-Wealth Americans

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

Washington, DC (PRWEB) April 08, 2014

A new initiative that discovers business solutions to social issues by linking entrepreneurs with investment capital and mentoring was announced today by The Hitachi Foundation, Village Capital, and Investors' Circle.

The initiative, SOURCE: Solutions from Our Country's Entrepreneurs, is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the three organizations that addresses the existing disconnect between investors and entrepreneurs by engaging investors, mentors, and communities early in the business building process.

"SOURCE supports our belief that business has an essential role to play in addressing many of the complex challenges of our time," said Barbara Dyer, president and CEO of The Hitachi Foundation, the primary funder of the collaboration. "SOURCE will strengthen the U.S. entrepreneurial economy by connecting early stage ventures with investors – creating business solutions for critical social issues."

SOURCE will work with entrepreneurs and investors to address challenges that impact low-wealth individuals. The initiative will select up to fifteen entrepreneurs to participate in a comprehensive business accelerator program run by Village Capital.

"Bringing together the entire value chain of customers, corporate partners, policymakers, and local assets will help us discover viable business solutions," said Ross Baird, executive director of Village Capital, the leader of the accelerator program. "The program curriculum is focused on improving ventures' ability to meet customer demand and draws on the power of peer support to uncover enterprises that can change the world for low wealth individuals."

At the conclusion of each three month cohort, the entrepreneurs select the two most promising businesses from among their peers to receive investment capital from Village Capital and its co-investors, many of whom are members of Investors' Circle. "We see increased interest from investors about impact investing opportunities, and SOURCE provides an excellent way to engage investors with early stage entrepreneurs by offering each investor's business experience and mentorship in addition to their financial investment," said Bonny Moellenbrock, executive director of Investors' Circle, the largest early-stage impact investing network in the world.

In its first year, the issue areas will be financial inclusion, healthcare, energy, and agriculture (planned). The financial inclusion cohort begins April 30 in San Jose, Calif. Applications for the healthcare cohort will be accepted until April 14. Applications for the energy cohort will be accepted until May 11.

Along with the three primary partners, SOURCE receives additional support from The Rockefeller Foundation and the Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center.

About The Hitachi Foundation
The Hitachi Foundation is an independent, philanthropic organization that seeks to discover, demonstrate and expand business practices that both measurably improve economic opportunities for low-wealth individuals in the U.S. and enhance long term business value.

About Village Capital
Village Capital uses the power of peer support to build companies that change the world. We recruit entrepreneurs who are solving major global problems in the areas of health, energy, education, financial inclusion, and agriculture. We operate business acceleration programs with a curriculum focused on improving ventures' ability to meet customer demand. Through a unique investment model, entrepreneurs themselves decide which innovations receive critical early-stage investment capital from Village Capital and partner investors.

About Investors' Circle
Investors' Circle (IC) is the largest early-stage impact investing network in the world. Together with hundreds of angels, venture capitalists, foundations and family offices, IC has propelled over $175 million into more than 275 enterprises dedicated to improving the environment, education, health, and community. A nonprofit organization, IC cultivates its impact investor network, provides opportunities for high-potential impact entrepreneurs to meet impact investors, and facilitates investment.

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