Message from Managing Director of the SBRC

SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), are the successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations. There are 17 goals to be achieved by 2030, with a focus on the resolution of social issues. These are expected to attract the engagement and cooperation of governments and international organizations, as well as various sectors such as private sector, research institutes, and non-profit organizations.

At the same time, reflecting on the excessive pursuit of profit in corporate management, there has been an increase in the evaluation (as targets of ESG investment) of companies in Europe and the United States based on environmental, social, and governance viewpoints, for example. There is a need for businesses that balance the pursuit of profits with social contributions.

Kyushu University started its social business activities in 2007 by collaborating with the Grameen Foundation, founded by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Since then, the university has conducted various activities through the Yunus & Shiiki Social Business Research Center (SBRC), which was founded in 2011. The main purpose of the research center is to educate, research, investigate, raise awareness and incubate social businesses. The project aims to build social business model that can solve global issues (such as poverty, health, the environment, energy, education, natural disasters, etc.) through collaboration and joint research with relevant organizations in Japan and overseas. The growing interest in SDGs and ESG investments is giving new energy to social businesses.

For the YY contest (Yunus & You Social Design Contest), which is one of the activities of SBRC, university students and members of society meet mentors who help them create new social businesses.    Last year, the 9th year, 50 teams from across Japan entered the contest, and 30 teams were selected to participate. We look forward to seeing each of the proposed social businesses solve various social issues from the grassroots level, while they contribute to the creation of a sustainable and more livable world.

As one of the bases for social business in Japan, the SBRC continues to pursue its significant mission and honor its great responsibility.