World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


APEC Announces Asia-Pacific’s Top Women Entrepreneurs

APEC Announces Asia-Pacific’s Top Women Entrepreneurs

Issued by the APEC Women and the Economy Forum

Hue City, Viet Nam, 3 October 2017 — APEC member economies have announced the Asia-Pacific’s most outstanding women entrepreneurs for 2017.

At the annual APEC Business Efficiency and Success Target Awards, or BEST Awards, the finalists presented their business cases in front of a panel of judges from the public and private sector.

The competition took place in conjunction with the 2017 APEC Women and the Economy Forum in Hue City, Viet Nam, to promote greater women’s economic empowerment, participation in trade and economic growth in Asia Pacific.

Rika Yajima from Japan, founder and CEO of Aeru, was selected as the overall winner of this year’s BEST Awards out of a pool of 12 finalists from APEC economies. Her successful brand specializes in baby and children products that preserve and promote Japan’s traditional culture.

View the list of APEC Best Award winners

VIDEO: APEC BEST Award Participants Introduce their Businesses

“The idea behind Aeru is to connect Japanese tradition to the next generation by creating products for babies and kids that will give them early exposure of the culture,” said Yajima, “We are working with Japanese artisans to put together Japanese traditions and contemporary artistry in products such as earthenware cups, dishes, toys, and other customized items for babies and kids to use.”

“I believe it is important to go back to the basics and look at what our tradition offers and discover its genuine qualities,” she continued.

Yajima opened her company’s first online shop in 2012, followed by two other brick and mortar retail stores in Tokyo and Kyoto.

Currently her company employs 10 people and works with 45 artisan factories. In the past five years, their products have reached a quarter of million customers. These include nursery schools, hotel lounges and cafes. With the innovation and social impact her company makes, Yajima also won the award for Best Social Impact.

“Now I need to continue making a bigger impact through Aeru, and hopefully I can replicate the business model in many other APEC economies, because in this day and age, business without culture is not sustainable,” Yajima noted.

Nominated by their respective APEC member economies, the BEST Candidates have run and/or owned locally operated small businesses for two to five years.

They were assessed based on the replicability of business model, growth potential, innovation, foreign market prospects, social benefits and particular capacity to create jobs and boost human resources development.

The APEC BEST Awards aim to spread the best practices of women-owned small businesses and provide the opportunity for these entrepreneurs to expand their network beyond local markets.

The contest connect participants with potential international investors, enables to find business partners, and supports market access to the APEC region.

“By showcasing success stories of women entrepreneurs in the region, we hope that many women will be inspired to take the plunge and build their own business,” said Natalia Strigunova of Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development, which initiated the BEST Awards together with OPORA. This is Russia’s non-governmental organization for small and medium business.

“When women are encouraged to embark on the entrepreneurship journey, it will give significant impact for the economy; it will create jobs, boost the ecosystem, and most importantly attract more women to be entrepreneurs,” she concluded.

# # #

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UNFCCC: Simon Stiell Appointed New Executive Secretary
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Simon Stiell as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat based in Bonn, Germany...

Binoy Kampmark: Europe Dries Up
Scenes and pictures have been circulating of broken earth, lacking moisture, cracked and yearning. But these are not from traditional drought-stricken parts of the planet, where the animal carcass assumes near totemic power... More>>

UN: Bachelet Alarmed By Number Of Palestinian Children Killed In Latest Escalation

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet today expressed alarm at the high number of Palestinians, including children, killed and injured in the occupied Palestinian territory this year, including in intense hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza last weekend... More>>

Afghanistan: One Year On From Regime Change And Children Face An Unimaginable A Crisis
On the one-year anniversary of regime change in Afghanistan, a new World Vision report highlights the grave risk the country’s children face from starvation, forced child marriage, and child labour... More>>

Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>