In the last fiscal year of 2012, Cabinet Office of Japanese Government implemented a project of “Reconstruction assistance of regional society employment creation” and chose 600 entrepreneurs, whose businesses and profiles are now publicized on the web. The government office, under the project, subsidized an amount up to 3 million yen each of the entrepreneurial enterprise and individual that started social business in the disaster district of Tohoku. As of August 20th, 569 businesses have been uploaded to the site where more will sequentially follow.
At the web site（http://www.tohoku1000.jp/entrepreneur/） named as “The team of 600 entrepreneurs”, a viewer can search for a business by region or category of business. Distribution of numbers of businesses (see the right side chart below) by geographical region is 39%, 29% and 32% for prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate respectively. By category (the left side of the charts below), community formation becomes the most common theme in the business, followed by medical care, welfare and health, town planning, shopping mall promotion , agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry.
The web site is run by Council of Supporting Entrepreneurs for Recovery. Mr. Kazuma Watanabe of the council says, “It is amazingly epoch-making for Tohoku to have this much of new business in quite a short period of time. Taking this opportunity, we would like to root new cultures of Act-To-Challenge in Tohoku.” Mentioning women’s activities for the new businesses, he continues, “Women have been keeping home and region peaceful since a long time ago. They are very patient with strong mind of wick to run their businesses.” The whole picture is unavailable but many of the entrepreneurs’ photographs show female.
The governmental project finished in March this year. However, it is important that the entrepreneurial business continue to create employments in each region of Tohoku.
Council of Supporting Entrepreneurs for Recovery plans further to expand its activities to assist entrepreneurs in fund-raising, know-how and information distribution, and networking among the entrepreneurs.