Development Bank of Japan

A former parastatal development bank, the Development Bank launched the Women Entrepreneur Center (DBJ-WEC) in November 2011 to support women who are establishing new businesses. The DBJ-WEC offers funding and start-up expertise to women entrepreneurs, and offers an annual New Business Plan Competition to support new women-owned businesses. Prizes for the competition range from free mentoring services for the winner of the Innovative Regional Growth prize to 10 million yen (approximately US$83,500) for the Grand Prize winner. The Competition specifically targets women who are starting innovative and high growth businesses that offer original technologies, services or business models. Over 1,100 women have applied for the program, which started in 2012. In addition, the DBJ hired women bank officers to assist the women entrepreneurs.