Tokyo, June 16, 2015 – Rakuten, Inc. and the Okazaki City Business Support Center (OKa-Biz), which is jointly operated by Okazaki City and the Okazaki Chamber of Commerce and Industry, today announced that they have concluded a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and cultivating entrepreneurship in order to revitalize local industry.
Rakuten and OKa-Biz will work to further revitalize local industry by encouraging local businesses to join Rakuten Ichiba, the Internet shopping mall run by Rakuten, and supporting the expansion of sales channels, by offering jointly held seminars on utilizing Rakuten Ichiba individual consultations to SMEs.
Since its founding, with a philosophy of empowering people and society through the Internet, Rakuten has expanded into a wide variety of businesses, beginning with Rakuten Ichiba. Rakuten Ichiba currently has 17 branches nationwide that are providing support and other assistance to stores on the Internet shopping mall. In the Tokai region, which includes Okazaki City, Rakuten also set up the Nagoya branch in 2007 and is making efforts to support the expansion of local businesses’ sales channels in the region. In addition, the Rakuten IT School, which holds courses on EC for high-school students in regions nationwide, is holding classes at Okazaki Commercial High School in Aichi Prefecture, and in 2014 the school won the Rakuten IT School Championship, a presentation contest in which selected teams from around the country come together to present the outcomes of their classes.
OKa-Biz was set up as an industry support base in 2013, based on cooperation between Okazaki City and the Okazaki Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and since then it has been striving to enhance consultation and support functions for businesses in the region. With “Listen, Find, and Support” as its mission, OKa-Biz provides a wide range of in-depth support to businesses, including setting up new operations and expanding sales.
Based on this collaboration, Rakuten and OKa-Biz will contribute to further revitalizing the local economy of Okazaki City by supporting the expansion of the sales channels of Okazaki City’s local businesses through the utilization of EC.