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Sep 12, 2023
Kosei Kiritani (2nd year, College of International Management) was selected for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Social Entrepreneur Acceleration Program (“Zero-One”), a program geared toward student social entrepreneurs, and he is the youngest of the 10 participants selected from among 227 applying groups and individuals.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), this program aims to cultivate the next generation of social entrepreneurs, and it is managed by a public-private partnership of METI, Borderless Japan Corp., and Ridilover Inc. In selecting the participants for this program, special consideration was given to the three factors of character, action, and planning, and applicants were evaluated on multiple criteria, including the strength of their conviction and willingness to take action on the issues they want to solve, the strength of their desire to start a business to achieve this, and whether their current plans consider both the social nature and sustainability of their business operations.
Kiritani participated in business contests while in high school, and during that time, he turned his attention to the issue of business succession. He aims to provide business succession support to help develop the local economy and ensure that individual companies can pass on their culture in a healthy manner. Kiritani has tackled many challenges with an eye on realizing his dream. Despite only being a high school student, he studied on his own accord to earn a business succession planning certification. After completing an internship at an M&A brokerage firm, he entered APU and has since been involved in the publication of business succession case studies in the Business Succession Labo online magazine. He has also participated in several internships at venture capital firms and other companies.
Taking advantage of the current extended vacation period, Kiritani is now participating in the month-long Zero-One training camp, where he works on daily assignments under the direct guidance of METI officials and Borderless Japan employees. He will continue to develop his business by way of an online program and other means, while receiving approximately seven months of mentoring from business professionals who are striving to solve social issues. Kiritani also applied and was selected for J-StarX, an overseas training program for entrepreneur development sponsored by METI, and he is scheduled to participate in the program in Silicon Valley in the United States.
I am very honored to have been selected for the Zero-One Program. I am currently working on how social business can be used to solve the problem of business succession. I think this program is outstanding because I have never seen another acceleration program in the world that targets university students and because it offers extensive long-term support. Two weeks have passed since the summer training camp began, and so far, my biggest takeaway is that there are other students like me aspiring to become social entrepreneurs. We often stay up until morning discussing the kind of society we want to create and our passion for our own businesses, and when one of us hits a wall in trying to move our business forward, we all think seriously about how to solve that person's problem; it is truly like a family. This program will last seven months, and I want to become a social entrepreneur who seriously tackles the issue of business succession on a daily basis, who supports as many companies as possible with their business succession, and who can make an impact on the economy and society as a whole.