Architecture for Humanity to open MakiBiz in Ishinomaki City


Architecture for Humanity to open MakiBiz in Ishinomaki City

Prudential Foundation grant supports MakiBiz's programs for small business owners

ISHINOMAKI CITY, Japan--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Architecture for Humanity, an international non-profit organization specializing in rebuilding areas damaged by natural disasters, announced today that it has opened a business development center in Ishinomaki City, which was devastated by the East Japan Great Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011.

The center, named MakiBiz to reflect its location and its focus on nurturing small businesses and entrepreneurship in Ishinomaki City, is funded by a $2 million grant from The Prudential Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation supported by U.S.-based Prudential Financial, Inc. The funding for MakiBiz was part of a 500 million yen [$6.1 million] pledge by The Prudential Foundation to support relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Other partners in the MakiBiz initiative include MAKOTO, ETIC Engineering and Flight.

The center will give small business owners design and construction services, business development referrals and access to construction capital to support efforts to create an even stronger business environment in Ishinomaki City than that which existed before the 2011 disaster.

"Recovery from disaster requires a holistic approach," said Yoichi Wakabayashi, director of Strategic Partnerships at Architecture for Humanity. "Disaster survivors require access to a wide range of services, including counseling, education, training, construction and design. The integration of construction services with business support services is key to the long-term economic recovery of the region."

Wakabayashi pointed out that 1,749 small business enterprises in Ishinomaki were affected by the earthquake/tsunami, resulting in the loss of 472,000 million yen in profits and the loss of 18,000 jobs - 6,024 of which were in the construction sector.

"We are extremely proud of our partnership with Architecture for Humanity. We share a common mission of providing innovative, effective and sustainable solutions in areas that have been devastated by a natural disaster," said Lata Reddy, vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential and president of The Prudential Foundation. "Prudential utilizes a disaster response model that goes beyond relief to include recovery, rebuilding, mitigation and long term development.

"Our three-phase strategy focuses on relief in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, recovery to find short term remedies, and initiatives like MakiBiz in the rebuilding period to create permanent solutions that support redevelopment and lessen the impact of future natural disasters."

Architecture for Humanity is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999 as a catalyst for innovation to build a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. By tapping a network of more than 75,000 professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, Architecture for Humanity brings design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed.

The Prudential Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, a subsidiary of Prudential Financial, Inc. The Prudential Foundation focuses its grant making strategy in the areas of education, economic development and arts and civic infrastructure; and it supports community engagement efforts of Prudential employees through Matching Gifts and other programs that recognize their volunteer work.

Architecture for Humanity
Diana Bianchini, 310-288-0077
Prudential Holdings of Japan
Fumie Hayashi, +81-3-5501-5356
Prudential in the U.S.
Karen Oliver Moore, 973-802-8533

KEYWORDS: Asia Pacific Japan


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