There are a number of cultural norms, regulations and corporate policies in Japan that either increase the risk to entrepreneurs or inhibit their ability to create wealth, which are creating real barriers to entrepreneurship.
As my previous blog mentioned, Japan does not have an innovation challenge – rather, it has a challenge with scaling innovation through entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship.
A definition of entrepreneurship is to ‘undertake a business venture or initiative that involves the assumption of some risk in order to create wealth.’ In Japan, however, there are a number of cultural norms, regulations and corporate policies that either increase the risk to entrepreneurs or inhibit their ability to create wealth – creating real barriers to entrepreneurship, whether inside or outside an organization.
Given the significant risks involved and lack of outsized returns (whether economic or social), the above factors have conspired to create an almost pervasive “fear of failure” among potential entrepreneurs. To change this mindset, there needs to be a concerted effort to break down the barriers outlined above. In the next blog, I’ll outline a number of activities that can drive increased entrepreneurship in the country, many of which have already taken root.
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Paul Ford works in KPMG’s Transaction Services at the Tokyo office. His operations experience as a senior finance, legal and HR executive in the technology industry provides him with unique insights during the transaction process, particularly in viewing and addressing issues from a client perspective. In 2014, Paul launched KPMG FAS’ Internet Deal Advisory due diligence practice and has personally led the due diligence of over 25 internet / software business M&A transactions since 2012, both in-bound into Japan for foreign clients and overseas on behalf of Japanese clients.
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