*Deadline for CSI Challenge 4 application is now extended to December 14, 2022

■About ARUN

ARUN invests in social entrepreneurs in developing countries with the capital funds from individuals, organizations and businesses in Japan. ARUN commits to building a sustainable social investment platform, by connecting entrepreneurs and investors. ARUN’s vision is to build a society where all members live and enjoy the full range of their talents and abilities, regardless of background and economic status.

CSI Challenge

CSI Challenge4 is the fourth in a series of initiatives implemented since 2016 to promote social impact investments. In this challenge, through a combination of the Social Enterprise Competition and Crowdfunding, ARUN focuses on identifying and supporting social entrepreneurs who aim to solve social problems through their own innovative businesses. The competition also aims to create a platform to connect entrepreneurs with Japanese firms and supporters.


Thematic Focus: Gender 

 The issues of “gender inequality” that are still deeply rooted in our society have become a greater challenge than ever in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.  Numbers of data indicate larger impacts on female populations, such as job losses, income decline, malnutrition and increase in out of school girls and domestic violence.  Social enterprises ARUN supports, voice same concerns.  

 ARUN is launching CSI Challenge 4, inviting social entrepreneurs, who jointly with us, challenge gender inequality with vision and innovations.  

 CSI Challenge 4 is supported by Deloitte Tohmatsu Group as the main sponsor, and also by Sasakawa Peace Foundation, MS&AD Unison Smile Club, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and individual supporters participating in the crowdfunding.


Winner receives investment* up to US$ 50,000, support and advice from ARUN and its affiliates on mutually agreeable terms.

 Deloitte Tohmatsu Group** separately provides awards and the winner(s) receive total grant up to US$25,000.

*Investment amount is subject to change due to the result of crowdfunding, exchange rate and/or investment due diligence.
**Deloitte Tohmatsu Group promotes a global Initiatives called WorldClass*, which aims to have a positive impact on a cumulative total of 100 million people worldwide by 2030 through contributions to Education, Skills and Opportunity. Deloitte Tohmatsu Group (Deloitte Japan) supports CSI Challenge 4 as the main sponsor.

■Application Guidlines

We are looking for social entrepreneurs who are addressing the issue of  “gender inequality.”

▼Eligibility  Requirements

In order to qualify for CSI Challenge 4, the enterprise must be:
A company that provides innovative business solutions to address social issues with the aim of achieving social justice.
Have at least three years’ track record in the field
Be operating and for a profit-making business
Incorporated with legal status
Be providing innovative solutions on gender diversity
Types of organizations that are NOT eligible to apply:
Non-profit organization, scholarships, or research projects
Organization based on political or religious purposes

▼Judging Criteria

Social impact – Impact to those affected by disparities and inequalities, especially women
Sustainability – Viability and sustainability of the business model
Team – Creative and determined to solve social issues, skills, etc.
Innovation – Original ideas and technologies that address gender inequality
Gender – Gender lens, Women- led or women impact businesses (the supply chain, workplace equality, products and services for women, women’s access to capital, gender justice)
In addition, to be eligible for the Deloitte Tohmatsu Group award, an applicant must address an issue related to either Education, Skills or Opportunity in an application form.

■​​​​How to Apply

Application Deadline: December 14, 2022, 23:59 JST

 We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible to avoid difficulties in accessing the on-line application, as traffic congestion is expected closer to the deadline.

 Here’s how to submit your application for CSI Challenge 4:

 1) Fill out the online application.
You will not have the ability to save your answers in the middle of the process. We encourage you to complete all components of the submission offline and then copy/paste your responses.

 2) Submit your presentation document by E-mail to csi@arunseed.jp.
Please title your email as “Application for CSI4 – your company name”
(e.g. “Application for CSI4 – ARUN Seed”)


Application Submission
December 14, 2022 Application deadline

Quarter-Final (Application review)
Mid to Late December 2022  Applications are reviewed by ARUN team to select Semi-finalist.           

Semi-Final (Online interview)
Late December 2022 Semi-finalists announced.
Late December to early January 2023 Online interview to be scheduled with ARUN team.
Semi-finalist will be requested to submit financial statement(balance sheet, profit and loss statement and projection)prior to the online interview

Mid-January 2023 Finalists announced
January 27, 2023 Final pitch contest
          The winner to be announced

■Sponsors and supporters

This project is sponsored and supported by following partners.

  • Deloitte Tohmatsu Group, as the main sponsor
    Deloitte Tohmatsu Group is a global diversified professional services group. 
    It is providing “Deloitte Awards” for CSI Challenge 4.
    ARUN and Deloitte Tohmatsu Group jointly organized Global Social Business Competition in April 2022, where more than 40 social enterprises addressing Education, Skills and Opportunity.   
  • MS&AD Unison Smile Club
    MS&AD Unison Smile Club is an employees philanthropic activity of MS&AD Insurance Group.  It has supported ARUN since 2016.
  • Sasakawa Peace Foundation
    Sasakawa Peace Foundation is a Japanese private foundation seeking to address the diverse and complex issues of the 21st century.  It has been supporting CSI Challenge since 2018.  

  • Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd.
    Mizuho Securities is an investment banking arm of Mizuho Financial Group.We strive to be your most-trusted partner as well as the most-trusted partner of the markets and communities we serve by leveraging the collective strength of Mizuho to create new value via finance.

  • Japan International Cooperation Agency (“JICA”)
    JICA was originally founded in 1954, as an executing agency of Japan’s official development assistance to developing countries.  JICA has been supporting CSI Challenge since 2016.
  • Saraya Co., Ltd.

  • Individual and corporate supporters contributed in the crowdfunding

■Use of information provided by the Applicants

  • Acquisition of Information and Purpose of Use

All information submitted in the application for CSI Challenge will be used by ARUN for the final selection and future considerations of financial and non-financial supports, as well as the following-up surveys and research. The information may be shared with the third parties for these purposes.  ARUN also intends to use the information in the Sustainable Business Platform which is planned to be launched in the near future, should the applicant agree to have the information publicized. The platform will function as an online community where entrepreneurs, investors, business partners, knowledge-holders, etc., can connect with each other.  The information to be publicized on the platform will be reviewed and confirmed by the Applicants in advance.

  • Information Security

ARUN will take necessary measures to manage submitted information properly and to prevent the leakage, loss or damage of submitted information. In order to achieve aforementioned purposes, ARUN will share submitted information with our staff, volunteers and interns who have signed non-disclosure agreements. The information may also be shared with third parties, including CSI Challenge partners, with whom ARUN outsources works to, or accepts works from.  ARUN takes necessary measures to assure that submitted information is managed by the recipients appropriately.  

  • Restrictions on the Use and Provision of Information

ARUN will not use the submitted information for purposes other than those stated above, nor will it share to third parties, except on the condition that a legal request for disclosure and other special reasons are presented. However, please note that statistically processed information can be made public.

  • Voluntary Provision of Information

Providing information to apply for CSI Challenge is considered voluntary. However, failing to submit all required documents and information in the application, may result in the application not being considered and/or not being eligible for support by ARUN. 

  • Other Inquiries

For other inquiries regarding the handling of information, please contact the ARUN CSI Challenge Team (csi@arunseed.jp).

Previous Winners

<CSI challenge1>
Stellapps Technologies Private Limited.

Stellapps provides IoT solutions to the dairy sector in India facing problems of low productivity and uncertain value chain. Stellapps develops, sells and maintains IoT devices that can be installed in each stage of milk production, milk procurement and milk chilling. Their business is expected to have a greater social impact by increasing productivity, reducing production losses, providing a stable supply of high quality milk and stabilizing the income of smallholder farmers.

CSI challenge2

Bookmybai.com is India’s platform through which homeowners can hire domestic helpers online. Their service-based technology enables underprivileged women to identify and access jobs remotely free of cost. Women apply for a job by giving a missed call to their toll-free number. After screening and selection, Bookmybai.com helps with safe relocation for migrant job seekers and access to bank accounts in collaboration with IDBI Bank. This eliminates middlemen or agents and protects the jobseeker from falling prey to exploitation, and 30,000 women recruited by Bookmybai.com have achieved financial independence and job security in an empathetic household.

CSI challenge3
Du Anyam

Du Anyam uses an app to connect purchasing companies, such as hotel chains and mass merchandisers of furniture and interior goods, with rural artisans to develop sales channels, provide design and production management training to micro-businesses and artisans, and offer e-commerce and financial access. Du Anyam‘s business contributes to the empowerment of rural women artisans by improving their skills, expanding and stabilizing their income opportunities.


For any inquiry, please contact
ARUN Seed CSI Challenge Team
E-mail: csi@arunseed.jp