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Economic Revitalization of the Disaster Affected Area - Kesennuma Miyagi Prefecture

J.P. Morgan “Tohoku Small Business Promotion Program”  Kesennuma

J.P. Morgan “Tohoku Small Business Promotion Program” Project period: May 2016 - April 2018

   “Tohoku Small Business Promotion Program” aims to enhance economic recovery by supporting local micro, small and medium small enterprises (MSMEs) in the Kesennuma area affected by the Tsunami. The grant from J.P. Morgan aims to provide professional support to local MSMEs, focusing female entrepreneurs, to promote business and job growth. 

 

   In cooperation with Kesennuma Shinkin Bank, as of the end of the project in April 2018, PPJ held 3 business seminars where the cumulative total number of about 100 MSMEs attended and provided 23 MSMEs with professional support to tackle their business challenges. A wide range of professionals, such as accountant, management consultant, product-designer, web-designer, marketing specialist, and hand-craft specialist were engaged.  

   Main professional supports were as follows;

   (1) To support building website for sales/marketing vehicle to Tohoku and Tokyo metropolitan area.  

   (2) To provide consultation services for business deployment of new product and marketing within the fishery industry.

   (3) To support building and developing product and marketing design. 

   (4) To support in-house skill training or fresh fish processing, website maintenance and sports therapy, etc. 

 

   In addition to the Tsunami, the Tohoku district faced a serious issue of declining population, especially in young working population. PPJ noticed however, many young MSMEs who were born in the area returned home after the disaster with hopes to revive the local community. This program became a good sponsor for such entrepreneurs who are were developing their businesses and extending their sales channels. 

 

   An evaluation report by the third party called “New Frontier Services” was made in November 2018 after the interview survey in the area. This report aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the project, effectiveness for the grantees and operational efficiency etc. 

In the report it was commented in a positive sense on the convenience of program application process for the grantees, effectiveness of the MSME’s business improvement and the significance of the program as a follow-up support to the disaster affected area. 

On the other hand, the needs of continuous support, broaden support in cooperation with local government and coordinated support approach etc. were commented in the report as need-improvement issues, and it also suggested the provision of continuous support programs. 

Fishing Boats at Kesennuma Fish Market
Evaluation consultant visited Kesennuma "OIKAWA Denim"
Evaluation consultant visited Kesennuma "Kimono TAKAHASHI"

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