Twenty-Eighth Business Advisory Board Meeting Discusses How to Improve Financial Inclusion Using Microfinance

Pictured above: Mr. Taejun Shin (Gojo & Company, Inc.). Mr. Shin was selected as the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader and one of Business Insider’s 100 people transforming business in Asia.

On August 19, 2022, the 28th U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board (BAB) Meeting was held online. The U.S.-Japan Council (Japan) welcomed keynote speaker  Mr. Taejun Shin (Gojo & Company, Inc.), who delivered a presentation titled “Create the Private Sector World Bank.” about the vision of Gojo & Company and its microfinance services. The talk attracted over 30 industry leaders from diverse fields including TOMODACHI Initiative alumni.

At the beginning of his speech, Mr. Shin mentioned that his personal family history led to both his passion and his decision to start a challenging microfinance business. Mr. Shin shared that he inherited statelessness from his grandparents who had roots in Korea and Japan. This presented him with financial challenges during his academic career. Mr. Shin shared that he intentionally retains his stateless status due to his strong belief that “no one should be discriminated against because of his or her background.” 

Mr. Shin continued by touching on the subject of financial inclusion. He shared that the majority of the individuals that make up the population in developing countries do not have access to usable and affordable financial services. 

As a means of addressing this issue and meeting his goal to provide access to financial services to all, Mr. Shin founded Gojo & Company in 2014. The company currently serves more than 1.2 million clients mainly in developing countries. 

Mr. Shin proceeded to share how Gojo & Company makes an effort to enhance the quality of life for those who are suffering from poverty using extensive use of technology to improve the customer service experience, reliable governance structure and the company’s microfinance business.

Pictured above: Taejun Shin with BAB attendees, including TOMODACHI alumni.

“I was very impressed by Mr. Shin…how he established his life and career,” TOMODACHI MetLife Women’s Leadership Program alumna Momoko Tanamura shared. “ I would like to use today’s takeaways to push myself forward regardless of circumstances and gender, as well as spread [the word about] today’s event with my mentor and fellow alumni.”