J.P.MORGAN ANNOUNCES GRANT TO PLANET FINANCE JAPAN
AIMING FOR JOB CREATION WITH “TOHOKU SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY PROGRAM”
Tokyo, June 7, 2016 －J.P. Morgan, through a grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, has established a partnership with PlaNet Finance Japan (PFJ) to fund the Tohoku Small Business Recovery Program to support community based enterprises to promote job creation and economic sustainability in the earthquake-affected area.
PFJ is a non-profit organization established in 2006 with the goal of alleviating poverty by promoting understanding of and involvement in microfinance. Since 2011, PFJ has been focusing on small business development through capacity building to support Tohoku recovery and revitalization efforts.
The J.P. Morgan funded Tohoku Small Business Recovery Program will leverage PFJ’s track record in Tohoku to assist micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) over the next 24-month period to promote employment with a special emphasis on female entrepreneurs.
Under the program, PFJ, in collaboration with Kesennuma Shinkin bank, will identify some 40 small business developers or entrepreneurs. PFJ will develop and conduct a needs assessment to identify specific challenges the businesses face for further growth. Then, PFJ will organize business seminars with specific topics such as marketing and product development, IT (including development of website or online shopping platform) and sales channels development. PFJ will work with industry specialists with extensive knowledge in the topic area who will be leading those seminars.
In addition, PFJ will engage with the third-party group to improve program-level monitoring and impact assessment as well as focus more effort in capturing beneficiary business evolution and performance data.
“Since 2011, J.P. Morgan has been supporting various Tohoku recovery initiatives such as the Save Our Culture project and TOMODACHI NGO leadership program. Our employees have also been offering various kinds of volunteer activities in the region. We are delighted to work with PFJ and Kesennuma Shinkin Bank to fund Tohoku Small Business Recovery Program. We hope the program participants will eventually generate local business to revitalize local community,” said Steve Rinoie, J.P. Morgan’s Senior Country Officer for Japan.
“We see many social entrepreneurs try to launch a business in Tohoku area but they have not yet succeeded in developing sustainable business models due to a lack of resources and management know-how. With the Tohoku Small Business Recovery Program, we will help local MSMEs to generate jobs. We would place special emphasis on women in workforce as we see an increasing number of female entrepreneurs”, said Masataka Nakamura, Executive Director, PlaNet Finance Japan.