Meet Harue — a unique, captivating, and extremely warm individual. She’s different. She’s fashionable. And she’s strong! Over the course of multiple meetings including a dinner and a few visits to her store, I got to know this remarkable woman.
Launching her first store at the young age of 21 in Aichi Prefecture and running that business for 12 years, Harue has now been overseeing a high-end women’s fashion business in Kyoto called Hodge Podge for the past 18 years.
A down-to-earth female entrepreneur with quite an accomplished background, Kanoko Oishi received her BA at Osaka University before earning her MBA at Harvard. Through Harvard’s network, she also met and inspired Kay Deguchi, the founder of Ochanomizu Orthopaedic Clinic.
Upon graduating Harvard, Kanoko Oishi joined McKinsey consulting company and worked there for 12 years. Her role focused on how companies can make themselves more customer-oriented. Incredibly dedicated to her work, and highly intelligent, she quickly rose to the role of partner.
A young, captivating, and highly intelligent woman, Yuka Fujii is the founder of a uniquely positioned startup. Famarry blends the words “family” and “marriage” to capture the heart of the business idea. An online platform that matches couples with their ideal wedding and family photographer, Famarry’s mission is to help couples realize their vision for their ideal wedding and family photography.
This interview was so juicy with phenomenal content that I ended up splitting it into two parts. In this first blog post, I will introduce her and her chosen field, as well as share a life lesson that she imparted on me. Enjoy Part I! Skip ahead to Part II, if you want to read abut the advice she shares to female entrepreneurs.
Kay Deguchi, owner of Ochanomizu Orthopoedic Clinic — an innovative rehab center, is an exceptional entrepreneur. With over a decade of experience in pharmaceuticals, medicine, medical devices, and even media companies such as Disney, Kay is extremely knowledgeable and brings a diverse set of skills to her chosen field of interest
On a routine day at Kyoto University, I met with one of the most fascinating and driven entrepreneurs I have ever met. Not only is she an incredibly warm individual, but Mariko Fukui has accomplished a tremendous amount in her mere 28 years of life – the highlight being Aalto International, the company she launched at the age of 25. Before we get to her current endeavors, let’s take a look at her journey.
As a graduate of political economy at UC Berkeley and a proud marketer at three startups since college, I would like to conduct a cross-cultural analysis of female entrepreneurship in Tokyo and Silicon Valley. The hub of technology innovation, Silicon Valley is making the world a more connected place. Simultaneously, Japan is moving towards becoming a more global society,increasing the number of women in the workforce, and developing a healthier entrepreneurial environment.
I plan on conducting a comparative study of female entrepreneurship in Tokyo and Silicon Valley with a focus on socioeconomic and political trends.
A good place to begin contacting female entrepreneurs in Japan is the Women Entrepreneurs Center run by the Development Bank of Japan. Both the finalists and judges have a wealth of experiences and knowledge about developing businesses in the Japanese context. Prior to arriving in Japan, I will begin connecting with people associated to the program.