the mif blog

Stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and organizations, discussion and commentary of new trends in private sector development, and the latest events and publications.

What are the differences between social businesses in Asia and Latin America?

By Yukari Shibuya

In April 2015, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) Conference in Singapore, where I was not only able to meet my old friends, but was also introduced to many new people through them. The discussions we had made me vividly remember my experiences in Japan, where I ran my own social business for 13 years. At the same time, I realized that the term “social business” is used in rather very different ways in Asia and Latin America. I have been thinking about this often in the three years since I joined the MIF, and wanting to understand this difference more clearly led to planning a “Comparative Study of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation between ESEA (East and South East Asia) and LAPA (Latin American Pacific Alliance) Countries.” The study got moving forward last year, and was commissioned to the well-known Japanese think tanks JRI – Japan Research Institute and FRI – Fujitsu Research Institute. We hope to be able to present the completed study this summer.

Microfranchise model project with Yamaha Motors Co. in Suriname

By Yukari Shibuya

Japanese version available.  日本語版は下記にあります。

I had the opportunity to visit Suriname to see the implementation of a MIF project to create new jobs for Maroon people  living in the interior of Suriname.  The project partners are Yamaha Motors Corporation Ltd. of Japan and FOB, a local NGO. Suriname is a country with a diverse mix of cultures – Afro-indigenous, Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, Dutch-speaking.  And I was surprised to find a strong presence of Japanese companies in the country – in addition to the project partner, Yamaha Motors.