December 9, 2003


'Big Issue' Magazine Makes Japan Debut

Keywords: Diversity NGO / Citizen 

"Big Issue Japan" magazine was launched on September 11, 2003 to provide homeless people with an opportunity to work for income. "Big Issue" is a magazine originated in Britain and sold only by homeless people. It is quite successful, being sold in 50 cities and regions in 24 countries worldwide. The aim of the magazine is not charity but job creation for the homeless.

Homeless vendors initially receive ten copies of "Big Issue Japan" for free, and sell them for 200 yen (U.S.$1.80) per copy. Using what they earned, they subsequently buy each copy for 90 yen (U.S.$0.81), 45 percent of the cover price, and keep the difference as profit.

This means that daily sales of 50 copies will provide an income of 5,500 yen (U.S.$50). Based on this calculation, each homeless vendor can earn around 50,000 yen (U.S.$450) per month for ten days work. With this income they can afford to pay for lodging at a cheap lodging house, which costs 1,200 yen (U.S.$11) daily or 36,000 yen (U.S.$324) monthly, enabling them to sleep indoors. The second and third issues will be published in November and December 2003, and assuming the distribution system falls into place, it will be published twice a month starting in January 2004.

Posted: 2003/12/09 11:31:18 PM
Japanese version