To embody social business as advocated by Dr. Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, founder of Grameen Bank and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Kyushu University Yunus & Shiiki Social Business Research Center (SBRC) created a contest. To spur on innovative social business development by young people, we have created ways to solve social issues autonomously and continuously at the past six contesnts. We offer sincere mentoring and a fulfilling workshop with distinguished guests.
In April this year, we started recruiting students, generally in two divisions, and 134 of the biggest entries from the past entered. After screening the documents, 61 teams (40 teams in Tokyo and 21 teams in Fukuoka) were selected, with participants from Aichi and Okayama prefectures in addition to Kyushu. Their ages ranged from an 18-year-old high school student from to those is their 50’s. Those in their 20-30s accounted for 70% of the whole.
In Tokyo and Fukuoka, 63 people (41 in Tokyo and 22 in Fukuoka) accompanied as mentors, and 4 workshops and lectures were held. After a Division Finals on the 29th and 30th of September, six teams with a high possibility of becoming impactful businesses were entered in the Grand Champion Tournament.
As judges, Yuri Konno (President and Representative Director of DIAL SERVICE CO.,LTD.), who opened Japan’s first telephone consultation “Baby 110,” Yumiko Noda (President of Veolia Japan K.K.), Kazunari Taguchi (President of Borderless Japan Corp.) and Yuka Kobayashi (Yunus Yoshimoto, President of Social Action Co., Ltd.) participated.
For the winning team, participation rights in “GSBS 2018” and “SBFA 2018 Autumn” were awarded as prizes, and corporate awards including funding were awarded from companies.
Grand Champion On Grit Engineering, Inc
SBFA Award Sukiya Co., Ltd
Veolia Award CUE / Tabemonogatari
NTT West Japan Award Team Clarus
Borderless Japan Award Tabemonogatari
Sun Power Award On Grit Engineering, Inc
Daikichi Foundation Award ZERO Suicide
Women’s Award Tabemonotagari
Team Clarus – Soka University
Original garbage bin “Clarus Box”
Access to garbage bins is essential to the reduction of litter. However, in fireworks festivals, trash bins cannot be easily increased, owing to safety concerns and to minimize labor. So, we developed our own one trash can using our own ideas. The name of “Clarus” means “brilliant”, and the Clarus Box shines a vivid light while solving the above problem.
Tabemonogatari – Kobe University
Fruit Distribution Business
By selling fruits that fall outside strict retail standards, usually classified as B “for processing”, it is possible to deliver inexpensive fruits and vegetables to eating and drinking establishments and cake shops while not causing a price collapse for premium products. This is something anyone can do. It is currently operating mainly in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture. The business requires that the production site and the consumption site be within 30 to 45 minutes of each other by car, and it is possible to circulate fresh produce even if it falls outside usual specifications. It is also possible to construct a mechanism that can suddenly cope even if a large number of nonstandard items are produced.
Work Continuation Support by running an apparel business with artists and disabled people. They will eliminate the walls between those with disabilities and other people, even those who are said to be minorities, as they aim to become part of a culture that creates a society where we can all acknowledge each other’s value.
Sukiya Co., Ltd
Monozukuri Business – Contributing to the Protection of Wild Creatures
They create goods (daily accessories) with motifs of endangered wild animals and plants, widely disseminated through sales to the general public.
At the same time, we entrust sales to organizations engaged in the protection and conservation of wild animals and plants, and create a mechanism to charge fees for activities.
They also commission this work to help provide proper disability employment support, and to provide child-rearing mothers with appropriate wages.
OK, Google, listen to me!
This service uses the “Google Assistant’s Child Line Edition” to respond to children’s cries for help. Currently, the child line is in a situation where more than 500,000 children’s voices are not heard each year. Those more than 500,000 voices that nobody responds to are our target. The “Ok Google, listening to me!” app can cuddle up with children 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When you feel alone at night, when you can’t sleep, when your mind can’t handle the load, you talk any time. And unlike SNS counseling such as that offered by LINE and chat, we will not make you wait for answers. You can instantly get a response to your SOS.
On Grit Engineering, Inc
In its current stage, On Grit has spent about 5 years covering infrastructure inspection procedures of the Ministry of Land of Japan to make a database successfully. They constructed an AI system to create an advanced civil engineering systems that can be used even by inexperienced laypersons. Infrastructure inspections looking for faults in older bridges and such usually take large teams and a great deal of time, and Japan has been falling behind because of this. However, this system allows a tiny team of engineers to conduct the same inspections on site quickly. And engineers then send the data to disabled people and single mothers, including those who find employment difficult, for processing by using their software – which they can do at home.