The Japan Market Expansion Competition (JMEC) is a program to support foreign businesses (project clients) start-up or expand in Japan and to develop the business skills of 'up-and-coming executives' (participants).
The participants start the program in November with a 5 week lecture series on how to write an effective business plan and also how to do business in Japan – often called a "Mini MBA". The second part of the program starts in January when the participants are divided into teams and allocated a project client for whom they will spend four months preparing a business plan to present to a panel of JMEC judges (the competition). The project clients have included businesses from start-ups through to some of the most famous international brands.
JMEC was initiated by the ANZCCJ in 1993 and is now supported by 18 foreign chambers of commerce in Japan and receives corporate sponsorship from various members of the business community. The program is now in its 25th year and applications for JMEC 25 open in August.
Participants from over 15 countries have been involved in the competition and whilst the average age is 33, there has been a broad range of ages involved from 25 – 52. Participants are evenly balanced between genders and also between Japanese and foreigners. This diversity in backgrounds and the participants' strong interest in Japan and business have resulted in numerous success stories for the project clients. As testimony to the value of the program, several project clients have participated in multiple competitions over the 25 years and many participants have taken on new roles or careers as a result of their experience on the program.
As a participant in the program 15 years ago (JMEC 10), I can highly recommend the program to both potential project clients and participants.
2018’s JMEC program starts 11th November (Saturday), with applications due 15th October.
More details on the program, including information sessions, can be found on the JMEC website (www.jmec.gr.jp).