Creating better lives through opportunities.
On April 25, 2015, a town-shattering magnitude 8 earthquake hit Kathmandu, Nepal. At that time, I had reached the Everest Advanced Base camp situated on the side of Everest at 6400m. Accompanying and supporting my climb to the summit were 13 Sherpa guides, each with their own families and lives.
The climb up the world’s highest mountain takes around 2 months to complete, and it is impossible to complete without the help of Sherpa who assist in carrying essential items such as food. Naturally, after living together for so long, they begin to feel like family. After the earthquake, the lives of the Sherpa changed dramatically, without exceptions. Amid this catastrophe, I wondered how I could help the Nepalese people, including Sherpa, who had helped me so much during my time in Nepal and decided that I would help them through local entrepreneurship.
Nepal is the poorest country in Asia with other 70% of people surviving on less than 2 dollars a day. Nestled between two powerful nations, China and India, the landlocked country has no major ports for trade and experiences rolling blackouts. These hurdles made a business plan involving commerce and manufacturing unrealistic and the agriculture and forestry industries more viable. Additionally, due to its geographical positioning, Nepal has many international embassies assisting in the possibility of doing business.
What can Embassy employees buy with their fixed incomes? Which crops are bought and sold by non-Nepalese residents? Taking these questions into concern, I decided to produce Japanese strawberries in Nepal and sell them to high-income earners, such as international embassy staff.
After I was able to return to Japan, I purchased 3000 seedlings whose patents had expired. If they had been shipped by air, they would die on their journey, so I packed them into two 120-liter suitcases and transported them by hand. These first seedling were distributed to farmers living in Kakani village free of charge but with the condition that the farmers take the proper care to grow the plants they had received. It was also settled that we would purchase the strawberries frown for 300 rupees per kilogram. According to our estimations, the average annual production of strawberries grown by one farmer is 2000 kg and at 300 rupees per kilogram, the income of one farmer would be 600,000 rupees per year. This income would be enough to support the farmer and five family members.
After their production, I went to sell the strawberries purchased in Kakani all over Kathmandu, including at embassies, hotels, and supermarkets, and these high-quality strawberries sold better than we imagined. With all the profits from the strawberries being used to fund the purchase of new seedlings, I was able to continue distributing strawberry plants to farmers for free. By repeating this process, the number of contract farmers in Kakani and the immediate area had increased to more than 60 people in the three years since October 2015, when this project was started. If one farmer employs five people, it has led to the work of 300 people. Two suitcases of seedlings led to the work of 300 people in just three years, and I felt I wanted to expand similar projects to regions and countries in need of employment opportunities.
The More Jobs Better Lives Foundation was established in August 2018 for the purpose of realizing its goal of the same name.
The number of unemployed people now exceeds over 200 million around the world. By using our time to engage with and embrace the people and problems in front of us, we can expand the scope of our initiatives.
Combining diverse expertise to create lasting impact
Representative Director/President & Representative Director and CEO of UT Group
With my experience and knowledge creating employment opportunities in Japan, I was able to generate jobs for those living in agricultural Nepal. Our goal is to create 1,000,000 jobs in developing areas. Along with our partners who support us, we will continue expanding our aid to youth who will be creating the future of our world.
Director/Selection Committee Member/Chairman and Executive Director of United Managers Japan and JQC/Director of United World College ISAK Japan
While directing an investment company that manages the finances of university funds and financial institutions, I also have deep interest in education, operating a university that teaches Japanese language and nursing in Cambodia and an all-dormitory international school in Karuizawa, Japan.
Director/Honey Communications Inc./Visiting Professor at Rissho University
I have seen firsthand the talented and passionate people who live in the countries at the foothills of the Himalayas, never to have their potential uncovered. As a professional mountaineer, I hope to contribute to MJBL’s efforts to shine light on their potential, and allow them to use their talent and passion to create a brighter future for their countries.
Auditor/Senior Partner at Hongo Tsuji Tax & Consulting
As a certified tax accountant, I take part in managing accounting and taxes for many individuals and organizations. I hope to contribute to the fair operation of the More Jobs Better Lives Foundation.
Selection Committee Member/Associate Professor at Tokyo University of Agriculture
As the diversity of our ecosystem and ways of life are threatened due to climate and lifestyle changes, the sustainable development of agricultural areas is increasingly essential. We hope to contribute to the sustainable growth of local agriculture and industries through educating leaders and creating opportunities.
Selection Committee Member/Social Insurance Consultant at Itoh Office
As a Social Insurance Consultant, I work primarily with small to medium-sized companies on their social insurance and labor insurance procedures and advise their managers. Additionally, I work as an external supervisor at an organization that aids foreign technical interns.
Selection Committee Member/CEO of Yamazaki Farm
I have taken part in the advising of farming technologies and the advancement of agriculture in developing countries since prior to the start of the Foundation. I hope to use my experience in agricultural technology and management to further help the Foundation’s cause.
I currently take part in business development and back office management at our Foundation. With my experience in human resources and secretary work at a private enterprise, I became interested in working with MJBL because of its connection to Nepal, a country I fell in love with as a student. I hope to create opportunities for students through working with members or our team.
Evaluator/Representative Partner at Hongo Tsuji Tax & Consulting
Evaluator/Director at Takeo Okazeri Law Firm
Evaluator/Partner at Iwaida Partners
Working in collaboration to spread jobs and opportunities
|More Jobs Better Lives Foundation|
|Founded||August 1st, 2018|
|Established||February 5th, 2020|
|Directors||Yoichi Wakayama, Masahiro Koshiba, Hirotaka Takeuchi|
|Councillors||Yoshihiro Hongo, Takeo Okazeri, Yusuke Takaya|
|Our organization aids developing countries and regions to grow financially through human resource cultivation, employment opportunities, and job creation, thereby helping them to raise the standard of living for those who live there, and develop their economy and society.|
|Address||W16 Shibuya Mark City, 1-12-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0043 Japan|
|– Providing scholars and apprentices with grants so that they can live better lives.|
– Providing scholars and apprentices with education and leadership counseling.