December 4, 2014
  • Rakuten, Inc.
  • ETIC.

Rakuten and NPO ETIC. Launch Rakuten Internship Scholarship for University Students,
aiming to foster the next generation of leaders

Tokyo, December 4, 2014 – Rakuten, Inc. and ETIC., an NPO which has produced a number of entrepreneurs through providing practical internship opportunities to university students, today announced that they will launch the Rakuten Internship Scholarship program on December 8, 2014 for university students seeking an internship with an NPO in Japan. Scholarship applications will open on the same day.

The Rakuten Internship Scholarship is a program that provides allowance-type scholarships to support participants for the ETIC. Entrepreneur Internship Program (EIP)*1. Provided by collaboration between Rakuten and ETIC., the objective of the program is to foster the next generation of leaders who will resolve pressing social issues. Recipients of the scholarships are selected through a screening of applications by Rakuten and ETIC. A total of five scholars, selected from EIP participants, will receive 300,000 yen each over the six months of the EIP starting in February 2015. 

Rakuten has a number of existing initiatives to promote education and develop entrepreneurs, such as the Rakuten IT School*2, an e-commerce training program for high school students, and the Rakuten Global Scholars*3, a scholarship program for foreign high school students. As ETIC.’s goal of nurturing the next generation of youth with a strong entrepreneurial spirit matches Rakuten’s aims so closely, the two organizations are working together to offer the Rakuten Internship Scholarship program to EIP participants in Japan.

The scholarship program has been created from the proceeds of sales at Rakuten CAFE, which opened in May 2014 as a real touch point where customers can experience the wide range of Rakuten Group services in person. As part of its CSR initiatives, Rakuten decided to give back to society by earmarking part of these sales to provide high-level training to youth in need through this scholarship program.

In the future, Rakuten will share activities of the students receiving Rakuten Internship Scholarship at the NPOs they are completing internships on Rakuten’s CSR webpage.

*1 About the ETIC. Entrepreneur Internship Program
The ETIC. Entrepreneur Internship Program (EIP) is a six-month program in which interns work under a person who has started a venture firm or NPO aimed at solving a social issue or creating new value. The goal of the program is to develop the entrepreneurial mindset, producing people able to create the new businesses and services that will be needed in the future. Over 2,800 people have participated in the EIP over the last 18 years and more than 150 entrepreneurs have emerged from the ranks of the participants who interned at over 800 venture firms, NPOs, and social ventures. The early 2000s were the dawning age of the ventures that are now the backbone of Japan’s IT industry, such as mixi, DeNA and GaiaX, and the program was instrumental in their development. Many interns served with them as “temporary business partners.” In this way, the program was an integral part of the era.

*2 About Rakuten IT School
Rakuten IT School is a one-year program targeting high schools, run by Rakuten as part of its CSR activities. The e-commerce classes are designed to share the know-how of operating stores at Rakuten Ichiba, the biggest online shopping mall in Japan, with high school students. In the latter half of the program, students from all the schools are given opportunities to gain practical experience in e-commerce, including PR activities to promote their local regions. It offers a new style of classes bringing Rakuten, local companies and students together, with instructors including Rakuten staff members and local Rakuten Ichiba merchants.

*3 About Rakuten Global Scholars
Rakuten Global Scholars was a program which offered scholarships to students participating in the Global Citizens Summit for Youth (GCSY), a summer school program held at a Harvard University research facility in Boston, USA in summer 2014, run by the NPO Global Citizens Initiative (GCI), which trains global leaders to be able to deal with social issues. Rakuten provided a scholarship program which supported five high school students from Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Iran and France, covering the costs of the GCSY program and their living costs while on the program. They joined a total of 24 students from around the world taking part in the GCSY and engaged in discussions about the urgent problems facing countries while developing the skills to solve global issues. 

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

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