Supporting Young Entrepreneurs

The Japan Business and Entrepreneurship Council (JBEC) is a consortium of more than one dozen Japanese and international high schools that seeks to create opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation for high school students. JBEC has run many events featuring notable speakers and mentors from companies such as Goldman Sachs, Mercari, and Google.

Connect would like to share some information about JBEC’s latest event and insight from one of the organization’s leaders.

Create a Business Plan with Mentorship Competition

This is a one-day virtual event open to all students. There will be talks from three founders of successful businesses in Tokyo. Later, in teams of three to four, participants will be able to create a business plan with guidance from team mentors. 

The winning team will receive a cash prize, and there will be other awards. 

This competition is a valuable opportunity for high school students and individuals looking to break into entrepreneurship.

Event Details


  • Date: Sat, Sept 19th
  • Duration: 9:30am–4pm
  • Participation fee: ¥500 
  • Mentors: Matthew Connolly (Co-Founder and Managing Director of EIRE Systems), Robert Heldt (CEO/President and Co-founder of Custom Media), Yoshifumi Oh (Co-founder of KAYU Package) 
  • Registration Deadline: Sept 16
  • Registration link:

Learning Beyond the Curriculum

Mary Connolly—the event organizer, JBEC Leadership Board member and project manager—is a 16-year-old who attends the International School of the Sacred Heart. When asked about the inspiration behind the event, she said there haven’t been many opportunities to learn entrepreneurship at school.

Connolly also found a lack of events organized in English for English-speaking students in Japan—most entrepreneurship programs are only available in Japanese. She decided to run the event in English through JBEC, as it has a wide network among Japan’s international student community. She hopes that she can reach out to as many English-speaking students in Japan as possible. 

More to Come at JBEC

The organization is working hard to put together more events and is looking to invite more guest speakers for sharing sessions. 

If you are interested in JBEC’s future events, please visit their homepage


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