今回、11月末からインターンとしてARUNに参加してくれている Anna Taylorさんのブログをご紹介します。ここでは、11月27日に開催され、パタマール・キャピタルの共同創設者、米国アイゼンハワーフェローのボウ・シール氏をお招きした「RE:THINK SOCIAL ENTREPRENEIRSHIP 03 |〜米国・社会投資家がソウゾウする未来〜」に関して、彼女のコメントをご紹介します。

2018-12-07 —  Anna Taylor

On November 27, 2018 located in Tokyo, Japan, ARUN Seed hosted a REThink event on social entrepreneurship. ARUN welcomed Beau Seil from Patamar Capital to give an overview of his company and to participate in a panel discussion on social impact investing and the future of work with Mr. Reiji Yamanaka and Ms. Satoko Kono.

Mr. Seil presents on how Patamar evolved, how they maintain and acquire investors and the current objectives of the company. The idea behind Patamar is to deliver basic services to developing and low income communities and to use entrepreneurs to fill these gaps in the markets. An example Seil gives is Mapan which is a technology business that supports low income shopkeepers to offer basic items at reasonable prices in rural areas. The fundamental idea of Patamar that their portfolio demonstrates is to provide local entrepreneurs with the economic power to carry out their ideas of positive change in their community. The Patamar team prioritizes communication and support methods that collaborate with the entrepreneurs they invest in such as being on the board of the investee’s company.

The panel with Mr. Yamanaka, Ms. Kono and Mr. Seil discusses the challenges associated with social impact investing and building a scalable company. Mr. Yamanka proposes the question of how to balance the priorities of social impact vs achieving financial returns. Seil states establishing trust with the customer base and investors can create a platform for scaling a business up. It requires learning extensively about which entrepreneurs will generate strong social impact and picking investors that are willing to adapt different business models and methods. Ms. Kono points out that communication with the entrepreneur is more important after the investment is made in order to guide the investee towards impactful decisions and offer resources and tools to track progress and returns. The panel agrees that scale is the mother of both social and financial returns. As in any business venture, expect to experience ups and downs in the process of creating successful impact and monetary gain.

The panel transitions to discuss the future of work that includes gender lens investing and how automation may play into expanding the gap between high and low skilled labor. Gender lens investing is an opportunity in advanced and developing countries for women who want to get back to work or have been overlooked as an investment prospect. It can be broken into investing in women for women empowerment and expanding the margins of a company’s search for investment prospects to include unique ventures. An example given is building up women-focused health care in the United States. The gender gap conversation resonates with the Japanese audience and panel members, Yamanaka and Kono, who voice in agreement that there is extensive room for improvement in opportunities offered for women or geared towards women in Japan. The effect of bringing more women into the workforce could counter the shrinking Japanese labor market.

Seil believes automation will free up certain workers to focus on higher value tasks. However, jobs where person to person communication is central such as teaching and domestic care will not implement artificial intelligence (AI) as easily. A possible negative outcome from a technology-driven division in labor is that mobility between the two sectors will be extremely difficult. An audience member adds that any sort of career mobility from a low skilled position to a high skilled position could be blocked if too much AI is used at the lower level.

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The REThink event initiated thought-provoking discourse between the panel members Beau Seil, Reiji Yamanaka, Satoko Kono and the audience. Questions from the audience for Mr. Seil reveal the profile of Patamar’s investors and give insight into who makes up a successful investor community. Yamanaka points out that the Japanese workplace is shifting to become increasingly more inclusive. This shift creates an opportunity to bring new ideas to the Japanese marketplace. It is clear that the social impact community in Japan wants to educate and engage with companies and individuals that have the capital to make a difference in Japan and in developing countries. The larger question for the Japanese social impact community is how to design effective market strategies that attract said large sum investors.

Anna Taylor (インターン)

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