ARUN Newsletter No. 26 June 2013



<1> Forward                                                          Satoko Kono, President

<2> Investment Now                                              Investment Team

<3> Nikkei Social Initiative Award, Ceremony and Symposium

<4> Activities

<5> Afterword


<1> Forward                                                          Satoko Kono, President


Thank you for your continual support for ARUN.


ARUN is a Limited Liability Company with 91 investors (private and incorporated).

We aim to support social enterprises in developing countries through investments,

while building a social investment platform originating in Japan.


We moved our Tokyo office. Our new office is in a shared office space managed by Jeffrey, who is a venture entrepreneur himself. I met Jeffrey at the beginning of this year in Myanmar and we hit it off well.

We are in an ideal surrounding where we meet enthusiastic entrepreneurs who are excited to share their business ideas, making our commute to the office fun. The office is a two minutewalk from Tokyo Square Garden, the new landmark of the Kyobashi area, close to Ginza, Yurakucho and Tokyo stations.

We hold investment committees and director meetings on the weekends. If you are in the area, please stop by and say hello.


Last month as well as this month, ARUN members are visiting social investment institutions in England, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States. Our impressions from the visits are that the investments that sorely pursue economic returns is reaching their limits, and the social investment/impact of investment is going to be global. In the United States, starting with the meeting held under the initiative of the Rockefeller Fund in 2008, various financial institutions, foundations, research organizations and the NPOs are working together to develop new markets, establishing rating agencies and creating monitoring indicators.


Some commercial financial institutions such as J.P.Morgan are also beginning to collaborate in the effort. There are also organizations such as Calvert Foundation which manages both investments in domestic services for the disadvantaged population and entrepreneurs in the developing countries. According to a report, in 2011, the numbers of the impact investment in the world rose to 2,200 and $4.4 billion.


In Japan, we also see the changes starting to happen. In 2009 we started ARUN with 10 people and now operate with 91 investors. We hear people wanting to start social investments in the countries in Asia and Africa as well. Collaborating with people like you who are willing, both in Japan and overseas, we hope to expand the circle of social investment.


I will be visiting India and Cambodia at the end of this month!


Satoko Kono


<2>Investment Now                                                             Investment Team


ARUN members meet almost every weekend to discuss current investees’ progress and prospective investees. We will bring you the monthly current news summary from the investment team, calling it “Investment Now”. In this issue, we introduce prospective investments which we are currently investigating.


ARUN is expanding the prospective investees. In addition to Cambodia, we are doing due diligence investigation on Indian companies. One of such companies, company I, is a business that provides good and efficient health and medical services at affordable prices for the people in the rural areas, aiming to reduce the gap in the health and medical services between urban and rural areas.


(Article continues in Japanese Blog Section of the ARUN Website. )


<3> Nikkei Social Initiative Award, Ceremony, and Symposium


ARUN was selected as one of the finalists in the International Division Award of the Nikkei Social Initiative Award organized by Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei Inc.) out of more than 380 entries.


We were invited to the Nikkei Social Initiative Award ceremony and the symposium.


At the symposium, we had an opportunity to hear valuable discussions attended by the panelists such as Mr. Yoshikazu Tanaka, CEO of GREE, Inc., the company well known by their cell phone games, and Mr. Daigo Sato, Board of Director Representative of JustGiving Japan Foundation, which operates a  fundraising website, on the current trends of Japanese social business and how the businesses should get involved in order to develop social business.


(Article continues in the Japanese Blog Section of the ARUN Website. [link]



<4> Activities


1. Our main office has moved.


ARUN LLC and ARUN Lab office has moved from Chiyoda Platform Square to the following location.


The new office is close to Ginza and conveniently within walking distance from Tokyo Station.

It is a hub for the entrepreneurs’ activities and enthusiastic managers who promoteentrepreneurship.

Please stop by anytime. We appreciate your continuing support.


Address: Isshin Building 8F, 2-11-7 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0028.

Map ( [LINK]


2. Cambodia Office has moved.


Address: Building N 126, Norodom Blvd, Sangkat Tonel Bassac, Khan Chamkarmorn,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia


3. Recruitment


Currently, we are looking for talent in business development and marketing. Please visit our homepage for more information. [link]



<5> Afterword


Stock price of Euglena, a company which produces food from midorimushi (euglena gracilis), conducts research and development on jet fuel, went up 10 times since the beginning of the year. Mr. Mitsuru Izumo, the President, can be called a social entrepreneur, because according to his book, Mr. Izumo started the company hoping to solve the hunger problem he encountered in Bangladesh, seeing the children who were suffering from malnutrition when he was in college.  We do not know yet if Euglena will succeed, but this example shows us the possibility of a huge breakthrough when the will meets the technology.

June 2022
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