Rakuten Social Accelerator

Leveraging Rakuten’s technologies, business assets and culture, the program aims to drive impactful social innovation together with our stakeholders.

About Rakuten Social Accelerator

Launched in 2018, Rakuten Social Accelerator is a social innovation program that brings together various stakeholders, such as social entrepreneurs, and Rakuten employees to tackle critical issues facing society today, using Rakuten’s technologies and assets. From market analysis to online marketing and service development, the program goes beyond simple project consultation, aiming to generate concrete output that leads to true social impact, with the support of Rakuten employees who have experience in a variety of fields and industries. For the employees, this also represents a valuable opportunity to experience our company’s mission of empowering society, and to deepen their understanding of various issues by working with social entrepreneurs who address those challenges in innovative ways. It is the kind of opportunity that they may not find in their usual day-to-day work.
With the launch of the program at the Development and Operations Center in Bengaluru, India, the Rakuten Social Accelerator went global in 2019.

<Example of past activities>

  • Market analysis
  • Website creation
  • Website Conversion Rate (CVR) improvement
  • Online promotion using video
  • Online service development
  • Sales tool development
  • Online magazine publication

<Examples of past themes>

  • STEAM (Science / Technology / Engineering / Arts / Mathematics)education
  • Energy solutions
  • Medical care
  • Refugee support
  • Youth employment support
  • Developing country support
  • Local community revitalization
  • Food loss and starvation
  • Wildlife and cultural heritage preservation
  • Support for the lives and education of the visually impaired

Activities in 2020

For its third iteration, the Rakuten Social Accelerator once again connected employees with three organizations, shifting to an online format called RSA Online 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees explored ways to continue collaborating online with stakeholders in a rapidly changing society, and on contributing to solving social issues in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda.

Hida City, Gifu Prefecture
Launched in April 2020, Hidasuke is an information center that fosters the connection between Hida City residents and people outside of the city. With the slogan of “Empathic Help,” Hidasuke creates programs that address local issues, and recruits program participants online. In order to expand the project and connect a greater number of people to the city, Rakuten employees worked on information center improvements, planning and conducting online programs, and creating and promoting the website.
Setagaya Community Foundation
The Setagaya Community Foundation's mission is to create an ecosystem that supports its namesake town. Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the foundation is working on various new initiatives, which include the operation of the Kakehashi Fund, offering relief to people facing difficulties. Rakuten employees worked on website improvement to better communicate the Foundation’s vision and activities.
Okayama Parent-Child Support Project
The Okayama Parent-Child Support Project connects private organizations such as NPOs, volunteer groups, and companies that help children and families in Okayama Prefecture who are facing difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rakuten employees interacted with children online and worked on enhancing awareness of the Project and its activities.