BPW Japan launches a Recovery Support Grant program for working women

We, at BPW Japan, are pleased to announce that we have recently launched a Recovery Support Grant program for working women in the areas severely damaged by the earthquakes and tsunami on March 11, 2011. The generous contributions and warm encouragements from all over the world, especially from BPW sisters and BPW Japan's fundraising efforts, have made this grant program possible.

About eight months have passed since the disaster. As of November 14, the death toll is 15,838 and missing people are estimated 3,647, and many are still living far from their hometowns. Much of the rubble have been removed, and people continue to work tirelessly for the recovery. However, many difficulties and obstacles lie ahead before full restoration.

The Recovery Support Grant, "Job generating grant for women, by women" provides small grants to the enterprises and/or women groups in the affected area. Applicants to the Grant should be enterprises whose business were badly damaged and forced to close their business, or those who lost their jobs by the disaster and are well motivated to rebuild or start their own business. Grantees will be selected from the public by BPW members through visits to applicants' sites and interviews. All grantees should generate and encourage the employment of women.

Even though the size of the grants are small, we hope that these Grants will provide support and encouragement to all the women in the area affected by the devastation, to rebuild and renew their entrepreneurship* as much as possible.

* In the rural areas of Japan, there are many women owned, community-based, small-scale licensed enterprises such as farmer's markets, village-retaurans, or local agricultural processing plants.

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