J.P. Morgan Announces Grant to PlaNet Finance Japan Aiming for Job Creation with “Tohoku Small Business Recovery Program”

Jun 07, 2016

Tokyo -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.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. The firm uses its global resources, expertise, insights and scale to address some of the most urgent challenges facing communities around the world including the need for increased economic opportunity. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

About J.P. Morgan in Japan

In Japan, J.P. Morgan provides financial services through JPMorgan Securities Japan Co., Ltd., JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., Tokyo Branch, and JPMorgan Asset Management (Japan) Limited. Services include investment banking, markets business such as fixed income, equities and foreign exchange, treasury services, trade finance and investor services, as well as asset management to corporate clients, financial institutions, institutional investors and governmental agencies. J.P. Morgan’s CSR activities in Japan consist of contribution from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to various NPOs and a wide range of volunteer activities by employees. For more details about J.P. Morgan in Japan, visit www.jpmorgan.co.jp.

About PlaNet Finance Japan

PlaNet Finance Japan is a Japanese non-profit organization (NPO) established in 2006 with the goal of alleviating poverty by promoting Japan’s understanding of and involvement in microfinance. For more details, visit www.planetfinance.or.jp.

About Kesennuma Shinkin Bank

Established in 1926, Kesennuma Shinkin Bank is one of Japan’s cooperative regional financial institutions serving small and medium enterprises and local residents in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. With a mission to “grow with local community”, the bank has been proactively engaging in earthquake recovery and revitalizing efforts. It is playing a key role to support business revitalization of local enterprises affected by quake. For more details, visit www.shinkin.co.jp/kshinkin/.


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