September 6, 2021
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) launches this week an accelerator program to provide a gateway of opportunities to Filipino seed stage startups and promote entrepreneurship.
Dubbed JICA NINJA (Next Innovation with Japan) Accelerator program is a 9-week, no-fee acceleration program starting mid-Oct 2021. The purpose of the program is to support entrepreneurs and create business innovation in emerging countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Bangladesh.
The program's services include field mentorship with industry experts to stress test business plans, exposure to Japanese market via Demo Day and roadshow, and structured learning from industry experts and other startup builders.
"This is one way we're helping startups from the Philippines boost their edge in the global market, and help Filipino entrepreneurs access mentorship and potential capital," said JICA Senior Representative OHSHIMA Ayumu. "The program will also help explore effective approaches and initiatives towards socioeconomic development and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With this, we look forward to supporting the Philippine business startups that can be sustainable, as well as add value to the economy and job creation."
This project is also part of support to local SMEs including startups through a pilot program for that could shape the future of JICA's private sector partnerships. To date, the Philippines marked progress in the Global Innovation Index 2020 ranking 50th among the 131 economies surveyed. The Index measured innovation capabilities of countries and other indicators such as knowledge, technology, and business sophistication.
It is expected that the innovative ideas and technologies of startup companies will significantly change the quality of people's lives and the nature of society, and develop. In addition to the conventional official development assistance (ODA), JICA is also strengthening partnerships with the private sector to expand support in developing countries.