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Japan's best bank for SMEs 2018: MUFG


Kanetsugu Mike, President & CEO, MUFG Bank.jpg
Kanetsugu Mike, MUFG

Arrive in any medium-sized Japanese town during April and there’s every chance you will be able to join a party. That would be MUFG’s ‘Rise up festa’ initiative – a celebration of and for Japan’s small and medium-sized businesses. It is all about unlocking Japanese creative spirit – and monetizing it.

MUFG’s boss Kanetsugu Mike delves into his client base and network to identify up-and-coming companies, be they in science, robotics, information technology or just a funky idea that needs help in catching on beyond its home base.

As MUFG describes Rise up festa, the programme aims to use the bank’s networks and know-how to “extend the boundaries” of growing SMEs.

It’s all very cheery, upbeat and very Japanese, one of the several stages MUFG methodically maps out for its journey nurturing local SMEs.

Another stage is MUFG’s ‘Regional revitalization fund’, which aligns with a government programme dubbed ‘Dynamic engagement of all citizens’ aimed at keeping communities active, productive and employed.

Under the plan, MUFG provides financing for SME procurement and working capital, and business advice to get projects underway.

In addition, there are the annual ‘Shobai hanjo’ conferences held across Japan that focus on sustaining and maturing small and medium-sized businesses.