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2004–2011

The Social Entrepreneur Enhanced Development Capital Program (SEEDCap Japan), a funding initiative that was launched in 2004, offered a new model for nonprofit financing in Japan. Voyager Management, a socially conscious American "fund of funds" investment company that aggregates and invests funds for small and mid-sized hedge funds, contributed 10 percent of the incentive fees from its transactions on behalf of several Japanese corporations to JCIE. This contribution was then regranted by JCIE to exemplary Japanese nonprofit organizations that were pioneering innovative new approaches to pressing social issues. This innovative arrangement was conceived by the investment advisory firm Shibusawa & Company.

SEEDCap attracted media attention for the innovative way in which it mobilized support for the civil society sector in Japan, where funding can be especially difficult to obtain. The model addresses the interests of three sets of stakeholders. Investors take part because their investments yield solid financial returns and, as an added benefit, they realize a social return. Meanwhile, investment companies like Voyager Management are able to make social contributions, which may also appeal to socially conscious investors, with the confidence that their donations will be properly managed and distributed. Finally, nonprofit organizations receive much-needed funding for their programs. SEEDCap enabled recipient organizations to launch new activities to meet underserved societal needs and to scale up their operations.

From 2007, SEEDCap recipients were eligible to apply for two additional years of funding at reduced amounts after the completion of their first year of activities. This multiyear funding, which is not common in the Japanese context, was designed to enable the organizations to make their programs financially self-sustaining. In 2009, SEEDCap shifted from a closed application process to an open grant application process to allow organizations across Japan to apply for funding.

During the span of the program, SEEDCap funded the activities of six innovative Japanese organizations.




Grants List

• 2011 Grantees

Ecotwaza
A second year of funding was awarded to Ecotwaza, a socially oriented company that is working to enable Japanese producers of ecofriendly goods to reach markets outside of Japan.

Pangaea
A third and final year of funding was provided for Pangaea, a program for children from around the world to communicate nonverbally through online games and activities.

• 2010 Grantees

Ecotwaza
SEEDCap awarded first year funding to Ecotwaza, a socially oriented company that is working to enable Japanese producers of ecofriendly goods to reach markets outside of Japan. Their ultimate goal is to promote environmentally responsible practices while helping to maintain Japan’s traditional handiworks and craftsmanship and strengthen the economic viability of the local communities where the crafts are made.

Pangaea
Second year funding was awarded to Pangaea, which operates programs for children from around the world to communicate nonverbally through online games and activities. 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.

Total Health Care for Artists Japan (THCA Japan)
A third and final year year of funding was provided to THCA Japan to expand access to affordable healthcare for Japanese dancers and other artists.

• 2009 Grantees

Pangaea
Pangaea operates programs for children from around the world to communicate nonverbally through online games and activities. The funding for Pangaea’s first year will allow them to provide online training for facilitators and to add more sites around the world.

Total Health Care for Artists Japan (THCA Japan)
A second year of funding was provided to THCA Japan to expand access to affordable healthcare for Japanese dancers and other artists and to broaden its ties with arts organizations and healthcare providers.

KOMPOSITION
Second-year funding was awarded for a "wall art" competition. The organization is working to assist wall art artists by introducing their art to the general art world, and to incorporate wall art into local revitalization efforts.

Kotoba no Atelier
A third and final year of funding was provided for a residential training program to draw youth who are out of the workforce back into societal contact and help them gain professional skills.

A Dream A Day in Tokyo/Heartful Holiday in Tokyo for Terminally Ill Children
The final year of funding was awarded to Heartful Holiday, which offers terminally ill children from Japan and Asia a one-week stay in Tokyo to fulfill lifelong dreams.

• 2008 Grantees

Total Health Care for Artists Japan (THCA Japan)
Funding was awarded to expand access to affordable healthcare for dancers and other artists, who often fall through the gaps of Japan’s healthcare system.

KOMPOSITION
Support was provided for the innovative “Legal Wall Project” which battles illegal graffiti by providing youth with legal spaces to paint at the request of building owners.

Kotoba no Atelier

Second-year funding was provided for a residential training program to draw youth who are out of the workforce back into societal contact and help them gain professional skills.

A Dream A Day in Tokyo/Heartful Holiday in Tokyo for Terminally Ill Children
Second year funding was awarded for a program that offers terminally ill children from Japan and Asia a one-week stay in Tokyo to fulfill lifelong dreams.

• 2007 Grantees

Kotoba no Atelier
A grant of several million yen was provided for a residential training program on manga illustration, the “Tokiwaso” project, to draw hikimokori and other youth classified as “NEETs” (Not in Employment, Education or Training) back into societal contact and help them gain professional skills.

A Dream A Day in Tokyo/Heartful Holiday in Tokyo for Terminally Ill Children

SEEDCap funding supported the launch of the first organization in Japan to offer terminally ill children from Japan and Asia a one-week stay in Tokyo to fulfill lifelong dreams.

•2006 Grantees

Florence
Florence, a Tokyo-based nonprofit, received a grant of several million yen to scale up its "Children's Rescue Brigade," which provides one-on-one home care for sick children of working parents. 

OurPlanet-TV
Follow-up funding was provided to OurPlanet-TV to disseminate documentaries on social issues that were produced with SEEDCap funding.

• 2005 Grantee

OurPlanet-TV
The first SEEDCap grant of several million yen was awarded for the "Torch Project" of OurPlanet-TV, an independent media portal that enables “citizen journalists” to produce programs on the social problems they are working to alleviate.