Everyone deserves to
determine their own future.

News

2022.07.20
Emergency support for Sri Lanka and a webinar

About

The Gojo Foundation was founded with a mission to provide funding for and conduct research on innovative solutions to uplift the lives of un(der)served people who cannot be served by typical for-profit companies. It shares the same vision as that of Gojo & Company, Inc., aspiring to create the same world where everyone can determine their own future.

Vision

Create a world where everyone can determine their future

Mission

Provide funding for and conduct research on innovative solutions to uplift the lives of un(der)served people who cannot be served by typical for-profit companies

Overview

Organization
General Incorporated Foundation Gojo
Founded in
February 2022
Representative Trustee
Taejun Shin
Location
Shibuya, Tokyo
Activity
Financial inclusion, Gender equality, Child poverty alleviation, Design for change

Organization

Councilors

Brij Mohan

Former Chair of Ananya and Former Executive Director of Development Bank of India. He is also known as the “Father of Microfinance in India”.

Kim Wilson

Senior Lecturer of Tufts University. She has many years of experience in consulting on financial inclusion. She has worked as the director of an international NGO before joining the Gojo Foundation.

Osamu Yamamoto

Partner of Unison Capital. Prior to joining Unison Capital, he worked for McKinsey & Company and other organizations. He is privately engaged with various charities as well.

Trustees

Taejun Shin

Founder & CEO of Gojo & Company, Inc. Founder of Living in Peace, a certified non-profit organization.

Akiko Imai

Professor of Showa Women’s University. She was involved in the management of Tokyo Foundation as their Executive Director.

Mihoko Kashiwakura

Representative of Gates Foundation in Japan. She worked for the World Economic Forum and other organizations.

Auditor

Kenji Hosokawa

Partner at Morrison and Foerster. He is a director of Social Venture Partners International and a statutory auditor of UWC ISAK.

Executive Team

Arisa Oba

A member of the IR team at Gojo & Company, Inc. She was engaged in a women’s empowerment program in Tanzania during her university years.

Haruna Tanaka

A member of the Corporate Planning team at Gojo & Company, Inc. In addition to her current role, she is engaged in solving social issues as a partner of Social Venture Partners Tokyo.

Aiko Saiki

CEO of Palace Side Consulting Inc. She was engaged in a project to support children in Japan as an official member of Living in Peace, a certified non-profit organization.

Koharu Suganuma

Certified public accountant and tax accountant of Japan. A member of the Corporate Management team at Gojo & Company, Inc. Previously, she was engaged in a microfinance project at Living in Peace, a certified non-profit organization.

Jumpei Takeuchi

Member of the Corporate Planning team at Money Forward, Inc. He worked at Gojo & Company as an intern during his university years.

Message

Gojo Foundation - why and why now?

Whenever Gojo & Company enter a new country, most of the time I go to low-income villages of that country and stay at a villager’s house. I do this because there are many things that I can learn by leading a life there even during a short period. Every country gave me unforgettable experiences, my source of inspiration and motivation.

Last August, I stayed in a village in Tajikistan. I stayed in a rental house where a family of five resided: a stonemason father, a housewife who also works in the fields, two daughters, and a son. Their monthly household income was just around 30 dollars, and they barely managed to make ends meet with their homegrown vegetables and small income from stonemasonry. Even with their financial situation, they still uphold the Tajik tradition of “Guests are gifts from God, so we must treat them with the utmost hospitality.” I will not forget the taste of the fried rice that the mother cooked for us that night. Quite often, the poorest are the most generous.

Their life was more difficult than that of their neighbors. When I walked around the village with my host family’s son, the other kids giggled at us. I didn’t understand what they said, but I could imagine it when I saw the son’s face. The teasing reminded me of my childhood, making me remember that there are people who will look down on you just because you didn’t have any money at home.

The family is even excluded from microfinance. They don’t have any immediate way to increase their income, and therefore microcredit would simply add to their burden. The World Bank defines the “extreme poor” as those living on less than $1.90 a day, and there are roughly 700 million such people in the world. Many microfinance institutions have not managed to provide quality financial services for this segment. As a result, 40% of people living in developing countries do not even have bank accounts at formal financial institutions to this day.

Gojo & Company was founded to extend financial inclusion to the world. Approximately 70% of our clients live on less than $5.50 a day. However, we have not been able to reach the “extremely poor” segment. The main reason for this is the fact that Gojo & Company is a for-profit organization, and we have yet to find a way to provide useful financial services for this segment while making profit. As a company, we are continuing our R&D efforts and we hope to provide commercially viable and useful financial services to the extremely poor in the future, but it will still take time.

Granted, we can console ourselves by saying that “In the future, we will further refine our technology and operation, and in the long run we will be able to provide services for the extreme poor.” However, as John Maynard Keynes said, “In the long run, we are all dead.” If there is anything that we can change now, we should try that.

That is why we decided to establish the Gojo Foundation.

Taejun Shin

Grant

Gojo Foundation Application Requirements

The Gojo Foundation is seeking projects which can lead to innovative, scalable, and impactful solutions, which will further extend financial inclusion to the Non-Entrepreneurial Poor (NEP), a segment of people who typically cannot be served by for-profit microfinance institutions.

The basic requirements of the projects are as follows:

  • The project duration must be within 1-2 years (with possible extension to a 3rd year)
  • The project must validate one or more of the 9 hypotheses which are defined in the Application Requirement Sheet
  • A maximum of 5 million JPY may be granted per project

For more information, download the Application Requirement Sheet.
For application, download and fill in the Application Form and submit through this link.
*Application details and application submission are English only

For inquiries, please contact : application@gojofoundation.org

Donation

Request for donations

The Gojo Foundation along with Gojo & Company, Inc. will work hard to leave a significant mark in world history as a great organization. We are sincerely asking for your donation.

If you are kindly considering donating to us, please contact us through this donation request form. We will contact you with further details such as the bank account number after the form is submitted.

Please note that since the Gojo Foundation is a general incorporated foundation, donations from individuals will not be deductible on your income tax return. Corporate donors are allowed to deduct up to a certain amount as a tax-deductible expense.

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