Project Title: Japanese Female Entrepreneurship
Student: Emily Julius ’16
Mentor: Mr. Dan Charna
Japanese entrepreneurship appears to be a paradox in itself. Entrepreneurship “tends to center around Western values of individualism, materialism, and competitiveness”, all of which is contrary to the primary principles of the Japanese business culture. A female Japanese entrepreneur further extends that paradox, specifically because she contends with social constraints and gender roles. My paper strives to analyze these obstacles in order to categorize the distinct challenges that Japanese female entrepreneurs face and propose solutions to these challenges, specifically in terms of e-commerce and small business models. To achieve this objective, I researched Japanese females who have experienced entrepreneurial success. I also conducted qualitative interviews with various Japanese businesswomen who were familiar with the social constraints of Japanese society, especially within the context of having career. I anticipated that various social constraints, gender roles, and the government would be the specific primary factors that prevented or discouraged female entrepreneurs from achieving success. I hypothesized that family support, access to technology, and potential government assistance would be the main elements necessary for a Japanese female entrepreneur to achieve success.