Japan Institute for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (JSIE)

The Japan Institute for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (JSIE) was founded to help people unlock their full potential to promote social change with innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit. JSIE supports fostering such talent, and offers global networking opportunities for young professionals, with an emphasis on helping women and minorities realize their greatest potential. We all commit to developing our own talents as well as supporting others as we shape our life mission and work toward social challenges. JSIE will provide hints and opportunities for realizing individual goals in an ever-challenging world.


Source:  https://www.jsie.net/en/who-we-are/about-jsie/

Social Entrepreneurship in Japan: A Historical Perspective on Current Trends

Ikuyo Kaneko

Research suggests that since the 1980s, both the United States and Europe have experienced a simultaneous expansion in social entrepreneurship. In the early 2000s, a new breed of social entrepreneurship emerged in Japan. A careful reflection on the movement will reveal that there were many manifestations of social entrepreneurship in premodern Japan as well. This paper analyzes the historical perspective and the current trends in social entrepreneurship in Japan. In particular, the paper presents what we call a ‘three-generation model’ of the primary drivers of social entrepreneurship in Japan, and a theoretical model of innovation to answer the following questions: (i) How has Japanese social entrepreneurship been developed and who are the primary drivers in the process of development? (ii) What are the characteristics of Japanese social entrepreneurship as compared with those in the United States and Europe, and what are the social contexts generating the differences? (iii) What are the characteristics of the innovation aspect of Japanese social entrepreneurship, and why is innovation particularly important in the institutional context of Japanese society?

Source: Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Volume 4, 2013 - Issue 3

Key Words: Social entrepreneurship in Japanhistorical perspectivemodel of innovationgeneration model of drivers of social entrepreneurshipnew breed of social entrepreneurshippolicy innovation

Social Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship and NPOs: The Case of Food Banks in Japan

Nadine Vogel, German Institute for Japanese Studies

Japan is facing several pressing social problems: growing social inequalities due to aggravating labor conditions, demographic change, and the problem of homelessness, among others. NPOs and social enterprises play a major role in finding innovative solutions to address social issues by generating and implementing new ideas and approaches. This includes social entrepreneurship (e.g., micro financing or street newspapers sold by the homeless), social movements (e.g. fair trade) and also the creation of commercial markets (e.g., for open source software or organic farming). Although the term itself is now at the center of public and academic discourses on how innovation may help solving current social problems, in reality social innovation remains constrained by many institutional obstacles in Japan. As a consequence, NPOs and social enterprises tend to develop comparatively weak financial and human resources and suffer from a lack of networking capabilities.

This presentation explores how NPOs in Japan utilize social innovation and diffuse new concepts in novel institutional contexts. Drawing on Roger’s (2003) theory of diffusion of innovation, I focus in particular on change agents who propagate new forms of organizational activities and who, at the same time, try to overcome institutional constraints stemming from corporate culture, social values and the regulatory environment. To illustrate this point, I will present an in-depth case study on so called Food Banks in Japan who collaborate with manufacturers, distributors and retailers to support people in need. Food Banks are part of a recent and worldwide wave of social aid and poverty relief movements – yet in Japan they are exceptional both with regard to their organizational structure as well to the instruments they apply. The presentation will demonstrate challenges and obstacles to social innovation specific to Japan as well as, more generally, shed light on the diffusion of social innovation.

Nadine M. Vogel is a PhD candidate at Freie Universität Berlin and currently a fellowship holder at the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ). She holds a Master’s degree in Japanese Studies and Sociology (FU Berlin). In 2013 she was a visiting researcher at Waseda University on a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Source:  https://www.dijtokyo.org/event/social-innovation-social-entrepreneurship-and-npos-the-case-of-food-banks-in-japan/


Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum

During my time in Kobe, Japan, I visited a social for-profit business, Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, where I learned about the ancient Japanese sake brewing process and how this process has evolved over time. As a society, the Japanese have made efforts to preserve their rich, traditional culture even when faced with globalization and modernization. There are many Japanese museums and historical sites that function as social, for-profit businesses with the purpose of educating Japanese and foreigners about the nation’s history and culture.

The museum I visited is owned by Hakutsuru Sake Brewing Co, which has been brewing sake since 1743. The goal of opening a cultural educational business was only to educate people about brewing, but also to reinforce the Hakutsuru brand. The museum connects the organization with its mission statement as being a “supporter of social culture” (Hakutsuru Sake Brewery Museum, 2017).

Hakutsuru Sake Brewing Co has developed a system (the building, exhibits, museum employees) to enhance the information markets (created the opportunity to increase people’s knowledge of ancient sake brewing and modern sake brewing) while capitalizing on it.

This museum also demonstrates a symbiotic relationship between for-profit social entrepreneurs and tour guides us some background information at each exhibit. This is an example of a symbiotic business relationship because the museum increases revenue when tour guides bring visitors and the tour guides attract tourists to pay for their tours by advertising that they will go to a sake brewery museum.

Museums are great places to learn about culture because education takes place through experiential learning such as interactive sites, which can be more entertaining than learning in a classroom.