Solving Japan’s Childcare Problem

Resource details
  • Resource Group: Case study
  • Policy Impact Area: Leadership and Alliances
  • Author: Fumi Sugeno
  • Year: 2017
  • Link to resource

The article details a case study on how a social enterprise in Japan partnered with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and local government to bring about major reforms in the country’s childcare system. It highlights the narrative of Florence, the social enterprise, and how its founder managed to identify key gaps in the childcare market in Japan and create financially viable business model to meet that demand. The model was deemed so successful that the local government adapted it into a new government’s scheme. Since then, the founder understood that creating impact at scale would require cooperating with the governments, he then shifted his focus to policy advocacy work. He started building relationships with policymakers, volunteering for local advisory committees, and creating public awareness through online debates, eventually culminating in a new law to allow vacant apartments to be converted into small nurseries. This law would help scale up this new idea to revolutionise the childcare sector once again. This article is will be useful for policymakers interested in engaging social entrepreneurs, and vice versa.