Eco-business / Social Venture

September 9, 2015


Survey Shows One in Three Japanese Businesspersons Wants to Work in Social Business

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture 

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Image by nposc Some Rights Reserved.

Businesspersons play a significant role in society through their work, but what is their take on social business (businesses created and designed to address a social problem), which is getting more attention recently?

Medicare Life Insurance Co., a Japanese online-insurance company, conducted an online survey on March 30 and 31, 2015, targeting Japanese businesspersons and addressing their awareness of social business and corporate social responsibility activities. These are the results of the survey:

  • The percentage of respondents who answered they know of social business was 63 percent, while the percentage of those who answered they really understand it was 9 percent.
  • One out of three respondents answered they want to work for a social business.
  • One out of five respondents answered they have interest in starting a social business themselves. Among the respondents having an annual income of about 10 million yen (about US$82,000) or more, this percentage rose to 40 percent.

The survey, which targeted 1,000 businesspersons ranging from 20 to 59 years old, included the question "Do you know of social business, including social enterprises and social entrepreneurship?" To this question, 8.9 percent of respondents answered they knew what the terms meant, and 53.9 percent said they had heard of the terms. In total, 62.8 percent of respondents showed some degree of recognition of social business. This means that while understanding of what social business is has not yet progressed much, the majority of businesspersons in Japan have at least heard or seen the term.

After explaining social business, the survey next asked businesspersons how much interest they had in social business. The questions asked whether respondents had an interest in using services offered by a social business, an interest in working for a social business, and a desire to start a social business. The percentages of the respondents who answered "yes" were 47.7 percent, 34.1 percent and 20.4 percent, respectively. It could be said that approximately one out of three businesspeople want to be engaged in a social business and one out of five would like to start a social business of their own.

Comparisons between men and women and by age bracket revealed that men in their 30s showed the most interest in working for a social business, with 39.2 percent of men in their 30s wanting to do so. Approximately one in four men in their 20s and 30s expressed an interest in starting their own social business. Both groups reached 26.4 percent, the highest among the gender and age groups. Looking at the results by annual income, the group with an annual income of 10 million yen (about US$82,000) or more responded more positively than all other groups to all of the three questions, with 62.2 percent of respondents in the high-income group wanting to use social business services, 54.0 percent expressing an interest in working for social businesses, and 40.5 percent hoping to start their own social businesses.