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SEEDCap Japan

The Social Entrepreneur Enhanced Development Capital Program (SEEDCap Japan) supports nonprofit organizations in Japan carrying out innovative projects that can serve as models for broader application. Since 2004, SEEDCap has funded the activities of six innovative Japanese organizations. As of 2010, SEEDCap grantmaking to new organizations has ended, although current grant recipients will continue to be eligible to receive funding through the duration of their multi-year grants.


• 2011 Grantees

Ecotwaza

Ecotwaza is an innovative socially oriented company that is working to enable Japanese producers of ecofriendly goods to reach markets outside of Japan. Ecotwaza’s goal is to reduce the environmental impact of human society and to promote environmentally responsible practices, while at the same time helping to maintain Japan’s traditional handiworks and craftsmanship and strengthening the economic viability of the local communities where the crafts are made. The company aims to focus on enhancing its business model over the next three years. With first year funding, Ecotwaza improved its English language website in order to increase its international customer base, and it also improved its IT infrastructure. Over the course of the first year, Ecotwaza doubled the number of its Japanese small business suppliers and significantly increased the number of products available on its website. With its second year of SEEDCap grant funding, Ecotwaza plans to on work on customer relations and improvement of its content to increase its international presence.

Pangaea

Pangaea is a nonprofit organization that encourages young children around the world to communicate with one another and develop cross-cultural understanding when they are in their formative years. The organization has developed unique web-based programs that allow children with different language and cultural backgrounds to communicate online with one another through various nonverbal games and activities and through face-to-face interaction by web camera. Pangaea sites are currently located in Japan, Korea, Austria, Kenya, and Malaysia. Pangaea is currently working to reach more children and to expand their activities internationally, in part through the creation of a franchise model that will make the program self-sustaining. With its first-year funding, Pangaea developed a “visual manual” booklet on their web camera activities for their workshop facilitators. In addition, Pangaea created a multi-language online bulletin board and post-workshop evaluation materials. By promoting nonverbal communication tools and IT platforms, Pangaea was able to significantly cut its administrative costs. With its second year of SEEDCap grant funding, Pangaea was able to scale up its e-training activities through improvement of its training programs and technological platforms, and it also launched three new locations. With its third and final year of SEEDCap grant funding, Pangaea is developing a program to teach the Pangaea system and curriculum to master trainers, who will go on to train locally based facilitators at Pangaea sites around the world.