Source: ETIC Website
During the last years, the Tōhoku region of Japan has been subject to an earthquake, a tsunami and a reactor meltdown. It will take the region quite some time to recover from all these catastrophes. In order to support the area in its recovery, a Tokyo-based social entrepreneurship group called ETIC launched their extremely successful Disaster Recovery Leadership Development Project in 2011.
The project is a fellowship for young business leaders, some of them coming from Japan’s biggest corporations. The fellows are sent to the slowly recovering region in Japan for 3 to 12 months and help put companies there back together, run temporary housing units and rebuild the transportation system.
Disaster Recovery Leadership Development Project
ETIC initially responded to the disasters in the region with more traditional methods, ie. sending emergency supplies and short-term volunteers. However, the organisation soon realised that they can do more than that and contribute by rebuilding the economic and social infrastructure.
So far, ETIC’s program brought 74 fellows in the region to work with 30 local social enterprises. Thirty percent of those fellows are Tōhoku natives that decided to return to and rebuild their hometowns. ETIC also announced that it is planning double the size of the program due enormous local demand.
The Future of the Tōhoku Region
ETIC’s Disaster Recovery Leadership Development Project is an excellent example of how social entrepreneurship can play an important role in disaster relief. ETIC does not only want to support the region in its recovery but push the society and economy onto a new, sustainable path.
They will have to work fast though. The local economy is not strong enough to reemploy all those individuals that lost their jobs and many residents have been living in temporary housing and on short-term government relief. With their program, ETIC aims to create what they call a “positive spiral of entrepreneurship” by bringing young and bright business leaders to the troubled region to work on an incubation program.
For more information on ETIC and their Disaster Recovery Leadership Development Project, please visit their website here >>