Despite word on Tuesday that a tank at damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant had leaked 300 tons of highly radioactive water, residents in the area still have something to cheer about this week.
A new portal released by the Tohoku 1000 Project (in Japanese) called the “Team of 600 entrepreneurs” gathers new initiatives and businesses that help create employment opportunities and reconstruct the Tohoku area, which was largely damaged by an earthquake and tsunami back in 2011.
Rising Tohoku reports that most of the businesses on the portal are located in the Miyagi prefecture (39 percent), followed by the Iwate (32 percent) and Fukushima (29 percent) prefectures. The most common type of activity involves community formation, followed by medical care, welfare and health, town planning, shopping mall promotion, agriculture, forestry, and animal husbandry.
The “Team of 600 entrepreneurs” is part of the Japanese Cabinet Office’s scheme announced in 2012 to assist reconstruction by selecting 600 entrepreneurs to support, as it recognizes the importance of business activity or more specifically, 社会的企業 (social enterprise), in revitalizing communities in the affected areas.
The purpose is to support the start-up and nurturing of social enterprises.
Kazuma Watanabe, who leads the Tohoku 1000 Project and manages the portal, tells Rising Tohoku that he was amazed to see Tohoku “have this much of new business in quite a short period of time”.
Currently, there are 569 businesses listed on the portal with more expected to come.
Social Enterprise Buzz is a media company dedicated to covering social enterprise news from around the world. We publish a range of stories from startups to entrepreneurship, innovation, and finance, which showcase business making the world a better place. Read more.