May 12, 2015
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten IT School Classes to be Held in High Schools in 47 Prefectures Across Japan

- Practical IT classes at 57 schools in collaboration
with 58 local companies until January 2016 -

Tokyo, May 12, 2015 – Rakuten, Inc. today announced that it will expand the number of high schools participating in the Rakuten IT School*1, a program of classes on e-commerce aimed at high school students, to a total of 57 schools in all 47 prefectures of Japan, the largest number of schools in the history of the program.

Rakuten IT School, which began in 2008 as part of the company’s CSR activities, is a program held every year that provides practical lessons in e-commerce to high school students, with the aim of fostering entrepreneurial spirit and revitalizing local regions. The new education guidelines for high schools announced in 2010 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) state that all commercial high schools in Japan introduce e-commerce lessons to newly enrolled students from the 2013 academic year, and a ministry-designated textbook has also been released for this current academic year. Against this backdrop, Rakuten will be expanding the Rakuten IT school program during this fiscal year to also include the 20 prefectures where classes had not yet been held. The classes will commence in stages from May 13 and will continue until January next year.

As the number of schools where classes will be held is increasing substantially this fiscal year to 57 from 25 schools last year, the number of local companies collaborating on the program with Rakuten has also increased from 26 in FY2014 to 58—the highest number yet. In the Rakuten Ichiba version of the classes, speakers are selected from merchants that have won a Rakuten Shop of the Year Award, an annual award given to merchants based on sales performance and a popularity vote by Rakuten members, etc., and veterans that have over 10 years of experience as Rakuten merchants. For the Rakuten Travel version of the classes, hotels which have received a Rakuten Travel Award, an award given to those hotels that have achieved outstanding results and received high approval ratings in any given year, will support the program. In the program, the students learn how to develop product proposals from the perspective of customers, plan sales promotion activities for the products of participating merchants or accommodation plans for participating hotels, and in the final half of the course, students will gain practical experience selling products through an online shop. In addition, by making repeated presentations about their proposed plans throughout the course, the students also get the opportunity to polish their communication skills.

With the aim of developing human resources ready for the workplace, there are an increasing number of commercial high schools across Japan that have begun incorporating actual retail activities into their courses, with students developing products and participating in exhibition and sales events at local shopping centers. By sharing with the students the management knowhow and successful business processes of the approximately 42,000 Rakuten Ichiba merchants and approximately 30,000 Rakuten Travel registered facilities in Japan, Rakuten is contributing to the fostering of entrepreneurial spirit and youths who are able to play active roles in their local communities, and the nurturing of the next generation of e-commerce businesspeople. Rakuten hopes that the program will give students the opportunity to hone their business instincts prior to moving on to higher education or joining the workforce.

*1 For more information about Rakuten IT School:

The Rakuten IT School offers courses aimed primarily at students of commercial high schools that are approximately one year long. By giving students the opportunity to learn about the trial and error process of online shop owners and deepen their understanding of the difficulties involved in selling products and the importance of work, Rakuten hopes the program will help foster an entrepreneurial spirit in them. The company also hopes that through learning about the potential of e-commerce, which can be carried out regardless of time or place, students can become involved in their local communities through the utilization of e-commerce and thereby have increased opportunities to contribute to the revitalization of their regions.

The content of the classes is based on the content of “Rakuten University” courses for merchants on Rakuten Ichiba and “Travel College” courses for hotels affiliated with Rakuten Travel, which are both designed to provide a framework with which to create successful online shops and a channel through which to share knowhow. The seven classes in the course include lectures from Rakuten staff and representatives of local merchants and hotels, who provide students with information about the actual current state of e-commerce. The students gain actual retail experience through activities such as developing retail strategies, building online shops by creating their own websites, creating products, and engaging in actual retail activities.

The second half of the course focuses on providing students with opportunities to gain a practical understanding of e-commerce through carrying out retail activities that also promote each school’s local region and practical experience in operating online shops. After the conclusion of the Rakuten IT School classes, selected students from each school are given the opportunity to participate in presentation competitions at the Rakuten Spring Conference, attended by Rakuten Ichiba merchants from all over the country, and the Rakuten Travel New Year’s Conference, attended by Rakuten Travel affiliated hotels, which provides them with the opportunity to be evaluated by actual operators of hotels and online shops. This also allows the students to share between themselves their progress in their attainment of knowledge about e-commerce as well as different presentation methods.         

Specific Details of Classes
・Understanding the main points of advertising products
・Lectures given by representatives of Rakuten Ichiba merchants or Rakuten Travel accommodation facilities
・Planning on marketing
・Visit to a merchant/registered facilities and practical experience at a workplace
・Start of Work on product plans/lodging plans and drafting related page
・Completion of draft of web pages 
・Creation of a website and start of product sales
・Sales monitoring and web page changes based on the results

Overview of Rakuten IT School

・ Start of classes: After May. 13, 2015
・ Reports on classes: Reports will be uploaded onto the website below as they come in:

■ FY 2015 Rakuten IT School participating 57 schools × 58 stores and facilities for
<“ Rakuten Ichiba” course>
・Hokkaido Sapporo Asukaze High School × Hokkaido karano megumi
・Aomori Prefectural Kizukuri Senior High School×COMPMOTO Rakuten Ichiba
・Aomori Prefectural Aomori Commercial High School×Sakurano hyakkaten Rakuten Ichiba
・Operating Jointly with 6 Iwate Prefectural Schools(※)×Sugawara Ltd.
・Ishinomaki Commercial High School Miyagi Prefecture×Dream contact
・Nigata Prefectural Shibata Commercial Senior High School× Jitensha no kyuzo
・Akita Prefectural Noshiro Shoyo High School×Gyoza no gyoten
・Yamagata Prefectural Sakata Koryo High School×Tire 1 ban
・Yamagata Prefectural Tsuruoka Chuo High School ×Fujisports Rakuten Ichiba
・Fukushima Prefectural Wakamatsu Commercial High School×Energy Drug
・Ibaraki Prefectural Mito Commercial High School×Furoshikiya
・Tochigi Prefectural Kanuma Commercial and Technical High School×Toysel Town
・Tone Numata school union stand Tone Commercial High School ×Order Suites chumon Shinshifuku Abe
・Saitama Prefectural Kawagoe Nishi High School×【Native Skin care】Bee Natural
・Saitama Prefectural Niiza Comprehensive Technical Upper Secondary School × Characters’ shop Laugh Laugh
・Chiba Prefectural Chiba Commercial High School×TEES FACTORY (TEES)
・Kanagawa Prefectural Odawara Comprehensive Business High School× Smartphon case Hamee Strap-ya
・Kanagawa Prefectural Shoko High School×Yokohama Chocolate no VANILLABEANS
・Tokyo Metropolitan Daiyon Commercial High School×SILVER BULLET
・Kofu City Kofu Commercial High School(Yamanashi Prefecture)×Umu(Jewery suki ga atsumaru mise)
・Nagano Prefectural Hotaka Business High School×Shinshu Azumino no Hana Senmonten Fstyle
・Shizuoka Prefectural Numazu Commercial High School×Suruga Umaimono Maruyasu
・Ishikawa Prefectural Kanazawa Commercial High School×Import Apparel Senmonten iDIRECT
・Toyama Prefectural Takaoka Commercial High School× e-hanayasan
・Fukui Prefectural Sakai High School×Echizen Soba no Sato
・Gifu Prefectural Gifu Commercial & Business High School×Wool ・Craft・Cotton Yanagiya
・Aichi Prefectural Aichi Commercial High School×Z-CRAFT
・Aichi Prefectural Nanyo Senior High School×Chubo Oroshi Donya Meicho
・Shiga Prefectural Otsu commercial High School×Livingut Rakuten Ichiba
・Kyoto Prefectural Kyoto Subaru High School×Brand Zakkaya WINDPAL
・Nara Prefectural Nara Suzaku High School×Sogyo Hyakunen Haibaraniku Ushigen Honten
・Osaka Prefectural Izuo High School×Kabegami ya Honpo
・Osaka Prefectural Izuo High School× DIY Tool Store Rakuten Ichiba
・Wakayama Prefectural Wakayama Commercial High School×Kinokuniya Bunzaemon Honten
・Hyogo Prefectural Kobe Commercial High School× Kobe frantz
・Hyogo Prefectural Himeji Commercial High School×e-zakkamania stores
・Yatani Gakuen Tottori Johoku High School× Sawai Coffee Beans &Leaf
・Shimane Prefectural Izumo Commercial High School×Izumo Nihonkai
・Tamano City Tamano Commercial High School×Amrit Dobutsu Nagaiki Kenkyujo
・Okayama Prefectural Kurashiki Commercial High School×Kaiteki Neko Seikatsu
・Hiroshima Prefectural Onomichi Commercial High School×Onomichi hatsu Kitamaefune no Okurimono
・Tokushima Prefectural Tsurugi High School×Kodawari Anminkan
・Kagawa Prefectural Takamatsu Commercial High School×Outletshoes
・Ehime Prefectural Imabari Kita High School×Maccha to Sadogu t4u Kogetsuen
・Kochi Prefectural Susaki High School×Kato Tokei Ten G-SHOCK Rakuten Ichiba
・Yamato Seiran High School(Fukuoka Prefecture)×Hakata Hisamatsu
・Saga Prefectural Kashima Business High School×La Berger
・Nagasaki Prefectural Sasebo Tosho High School×Suitcase Gekiyasu ten FKiKAKU
・Kumamoto Prefectural Yabe High School×Atelier 365
・Miyazaki Prefectural Nobeoka Commercial High School×Party Dress shopping GIRL
・Okinawa Prefectural Gushikawa Commercial High School×Okinawa Umaimono ya! Nagahama Shoten
※Operatin Jointly with 6 Iwate Prefectural Schools :Morioka Commercial High School, Mizusawa Commercial High School、Morioka Commercial High School、Hanakitaseiun High School、Kuji Higashi High School、Toono Ryokuho High School

<“ Rakuten Travel” course>
・Aichi Prefectural Okazaki Commercial High School× My Hotel Okazaki
・Gifu Prefecture Seki City Seki Commercial & Technical High School×Gero Onsen nagomino tatami buro monogatari no yado Ogawaya
・Mie Prefectural Matsusaka Commercial High School×Hinotani Onsen Misugi Resort
・Yamaguchi Prefectural Iwakuni Commercial High School×Kintaikyo Onsen Iwakuni Kokusai Kanko Hotel
・Oita Prefectural Oita Commercial High School×Beppu Kannawa Onsen Motoyu no Yado Kurodaya
・Kagoshima Prefecture Kirishima City Kokubu Chuo High School×Hotel Kirishima Castle
・Okinawa Prefectural Nago Commercial & Technical High School×Hotel Yugafuin Okinawa



*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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