Innovation Dojo: From Japan by way of Iceland

A newly founded student organization focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship in the land of the rising sun.

Innovation Dojo is a student organization founded in Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Beppu, Japan. It is based on the ideology that everybody can start up their own company, and even initiate social change if they have the right idea, and the passion to bring it to reality.

The motto of Innovation Dojo is: “Execute.” This motto has already taken the organization a long way in only one semester, as its members have already gotten two guest-speakers, brainstormed with new ideas, and this summer vacation they will be taking a group of students to Bangladesh on a venture of social entrepreneurship.

Why is it so important for universities, and societies, to have organizations such as this one? Entrepreneurs are the driving force of the economy of many countries, and without innovation there would be no progress. It is therefore crucial to encourage students to participate in entrepreneurial activities and to innovate on their own.

In Japan, the country with the lowest entrepreneurial activities among the developed nations,entrepreneurship tends to be discouraged in the society, and failure can be seen as a shame for the whole family. The number of venture capitals has been low, and getting a loan from the bank requires a personal guarantee. Further difficulties come from the pressures of deflation, weak domestic demand, and tough competition from the larger firms who dominate the market. 

However, the government has been working on new policies to change this attitude, VC’s are increasing, and co-working spaces have exploded in numbers over the past few years. It is clear that despite a declining population and obvious challenges, the spirit is rising and the citizens are willing to take the country back to the to top. -Rut Einarsdottir


Rut Einarsdottir reports from both Iceland and Japan

"Coming all the way from Iceland, Rut Einarsdottir in now studying B.B.A. at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan. She has a high passion for travelling, exploring new cultures and innovative thinking. By establishing Innovation Dojo, she tries to combine those passions and encourage social thinking and action taking in her society.” 


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