JAS Small Business Empowerment Academy (SBEA)

The Society has been a part of Washington State’s Small Business Resiliency Network since late 2020. With their support, in February 2022, we started the Small Business Empowerment Academy, a program designed to help Japanese immigrant and Japanese-American small and microbusiness owners improve their business operations and become more successful. Participants will learn business fundamentals through webinar courses given in Japanese by business professionals.

What can you gain from the program?

#1 Attend informational webinars from business professionals for free

#2 Choose from a wide variety of courses

#3 Get your questions answered during a live Q&A with the instructor after the webinar

#4 Receive a certificate of completion after taking a predetermined number of courses.

#5 Promote your business on a large scale at the end of the program

Testimonials

The instructor used specific examples to explain the accounting process, which made it easier to understand.

A. L.

I watched the recording since I couldn’t participate the day of the webinar. It was nice because if there was a part I didn’t understand, I could watch it again until I understood it. The quizzes were also helpful to solidify my understanding of the material. Furthermore, having examples after learning about the concepts in the lecture made it easy even for beginners to understand the content.

A. N.

Webinar Schedule

Courses will be offered on marketing, fundraising, business taxation, diversity, and other essential fundamentals of running a business. Each webinar will be about 60 minutes long.

Accounting 101

Kanako Matsumoto, CPA, CFE

Nishijin Accounting & Consulting LLC

After 20 years in public accounting as a CPA, Kanako has started her own accounting and consulting firm to assist small businesses owned by Japanese immigrants. Most recently she has been assisting these businesses to maneuver through the application process and reporting requirements of the federal and local government pandemic relief grants and loans. She is actively providing timely accounting and tax information via Facebook at @kaikeikakekomidera.

ProgramDateTime (PST)
Accounting 1012/15/20227 pm ~ 8 pm
Q&A Session 12/22/20227 pm ~ 8 pm
Q&A Session 24/5/2022同上
Q&A Session 3TBD

Business and Commercial Banking / Lending 101

Billy Huntley, VP, Sr Business Banker

Umpqua Bank

Billy is a 20 year veteran in the banking industry working exclusively with business owners to help simplify day to day banking, help again access to credit and loans when appropriate, in addition to being responsive and available to his clients.   Billy works hard to truly understand his clients business, how they operate, and their unique needs.   He prides himself on being a “true partner” assisting in helping business owners meet their financial goals.

ProgramDateTime (PST)
Business and Commercial Banking / Lending 1013/1/20227 pm ~ 8 pm
Q&A Session 13/8/20227 pm ~ 8 pm
Q&A Session 2TBD

Business Law and Employment Law

Naoko Inoue Shatz

Shatz Law Group PLLC

Naoko Inoue Shatz, the managing attorney of Shatz Law Group PLLC, is licensed to practice in WA and NY. She focuses her practice in the areas of business and corporate law including M&A, Franchise, IP, Employment and related dispute resolution and civil litigation. She has assisted numerous clients who have businesses overseas as well as WA or NY. She is currently acting as outside general counsel for several companies and Consulate General of Japan in Seattle. Separate from her primary practice, she helps indigent immigrant spouses subject to divorce proceedings as co-founder and the board chair of International Families Justice Coalition (“IFJC”).  Naoko also serves as Ethnic Organization Representative of the WA Supreme Court Interpreter Commission. She has also contributed articles and presented CLE and judicial seminars hosted by various bar associations and organizations and acted as a guest lecturer at law schools.  

ProgramDateTime (PST)
Business Law and Employment Law Part I3/15/20227 pm ~ 8 pm
Q&A Session 13/22/20227 pm ~ 8 pm
Q&A Session 2TBD
Business Law and Employment Law Part II4/19/20227 pm ~ 8 pm

Resources: Tax Return & Small Business Support Programs

Kanako will give an overview of the small business support measures available on a local, state, and federal level as listed on the Resources Page of the JASSW website. She will also explain about the tax return that is due soon.

Kanako Matsumoto, CPA, CFE

Nishijin Accounting & Consulting LLC

After 20 years in public accounting as a CPA, Kanako has started her own accounting and consulting firm to assist small businesses owned by Japanese immigrants. Most recently she has been assisting these businesses to maneuver through the application process and reporting requirements of the federal and local government pandemic relief grants and loans. She is actively providing timely accounting and tax information via Facebook at @kaikeikakekomidera.

ProgramDateTime (PST)
Resources: Tax Return & Small Business Support Programs3/29/20227 pm ~ 8 pm
Q&A Session 14/5/20227 pm ~ 8 pm
Q&A Session 2TBD

The Basics of Business Insurance

Hitoshi Suwa

Ogishima & Associates Insurance Company

Ogishima & Associates has been in business since 1946. Today, from its Beacon Hill office, the firm handles personal and business insurance products for leading Japanese and American insurance companies. Hitoshi Suwa is one of the few insurance agents who speaks Japanese and has a background of 20 years. He has lived in Washington State for more than 30 years and has earned the trust of his clients as a customer-oriented, responsive agent. 

ProgramDateTime (PST)
The Basics of Business Insurance4/12/20227 pm ~ 8 pm
Q&A SessionTBD7 pm ~ 8 pm

E-Commerce 101

Mari Kuster, CEO

Applause Ballet Company, LLC

Mari has been a dancer for 30 years and worked with the Shiki Theatrical Company and Illusion in Japan before moving to the United States. She then started selling dance equipment in 2001 at the dawn of E-commerce. Even today, she continues to be one of the first brands to introduce European and American products to Japanese users.

The company’s website attracted consumers through advertisements and social media where fans and repeating customers were acquired. She would be happy to share with you the “techniques of attraction” that she uses on a daily basis.

ProgramDateTime (PST)
E-Commerce 101 & Q&A Session5/10/20227 pm ~ 8:30 pm

Cross-Cultural Marketing

Sachiko Akahori Miller Founder & CEO

Market to Japan LLC

Sachiko Akahori Miller has more than 20 years of sales, marketing, and business development experience in both Japan and the US. With her sales & marketing background, she founded MARKET TO JAPAN in 2004 to make international business more accessible to companies who strive to develop products and services to improve people’s everyday lives. MARKET TO JAPAN specializes in cross-cultural business development for small and medium-sized companies in North America and Japan. Sachiko has also developed a brand called “CHERRYSTONE,” which supports Japanese craftsmanship in the North American market and has been developing new product lines that enrich people’s everyday life. 

ProgramDateTime (PST)
Cross-Cultural Marketing & Q&A Session5/24/20227 pm ~ 8:30 pm

DX For Your Business

Mayumi Nakamura Birt, Managing Partner

Ascent Partners, LLC

Born in Japan, Mayumi came to the United States and received her BA and MBA from Portland State University.  She embarked on a 30-year career in software and computer industry, worked for PSP, Inc. where she served as CEO for 10 years before starting the new company, Ascent Partners, LLC in 2020.  Ascent Partners works with business leaders to find their pathway into future through Digital Transformation, developing and implementing their new business with the technology.

ProgramDateTime (PST)
Students will receive an assignment5/31/2022
DX For Your Business & Q&A Session6/7/20227 pm ~ 8:30 pm
Assignment due6/14/2022

Cyber Security 101

Toshio Miyazawa

CISSP: Certified Information System Security Professional

Toshio Miyazawa is Colonel of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force specializing in cyber warfare (CISSP: Certified Information System Security Professional).

Background: Toshio has been an officer in the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force for 19 years, primarily in the field of information and communications, serving as a cyber unit commander, equipment R&D developer, personnel officer, and future visioning planer. 

Since 2021, as a fellow at Microsoft HQ in Redmond, he is passionately studying the future of command and control, intelligence, cyber warfare, and electronic warfare, the most important aspects of modern warfare, for the Ministry of Defense and Japan Self-defense Force, while learning cutting-edge technologies and operations.

ProgramDateTime (PST)
Cyber Security 1016/21/20227 pm ~ 8:30 pm


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