Makoto, a social venture fund for the recovery after FukushimaPubblicato: 11 marzo 2012
People are forbidden to work for around 20km area from the Fukushima nuclear power plant still now. Radiation level is high, over 1.0 microSv/hour. Most of parents in Fukushima don’t let their children play outside the house even out of 20km area.
Everybody is under a lot of stress and apparently the divorce rate is increasing.
MAKOTO is a non-profit organization supporting active entrepreneurs and startups, with a total of five staffs (including Tomohiro) and many volunteers that support the firm.
“Our Corporate counsel is a Partner at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, one of the top law firm in Japan. We are planning to have a non-profit venture fund. We’ve started fundraising activities. Our fund preparing now has five features: 1. Nonprofit 2. Project finance (the exit is not IPO or M&A) 3. Hands-on support before investing 4. Dedicated to young entrepreneurs 5. For people with a passion and ethics to help people. There are more than 150 thousand jobless workers in the disaster area. It is important to not only restore the area, but also to create strong businesses and long lasting jobs. I think empowerment of entrepreneurs is the key to accelerating revitalization, but more importantly,we must bring hope to the area and give the people their dignity.”
Makoto is a real challenge: the disaster area is in countryside. There are few talents, few high technologies and little risk money there. In addition that, there is of course no venture ecosystem. Therefore common profit oriented venture capitalists can’t invest companies in the disaster area.
“I thought that I can’t solve the problem by the logic of the capitalism and the best way is a venture fund as a non-profit and a project finance. I think that our activities will be interesting case for fostering entrepreneurs in the countryside.”
Tomohiro is not alone in this effort to restore a future for his communities. After the earthquake, many young people with strong aspiration are emerging and gathering to the disaster area. Some of them quit their job, even with big global companis such as McKinsey and AGC (Asahi Glass Co). People with a strong passion and excellent ethics to help others.
Normally Japanese people are risk adverse, however many share a strong aspiration to help at such extraordinary situations like this time. Historically, Japan has had many difficult times. But was always able to overcome again and again.
It’s because of people like Tomohiro.