SK-II shines a much-needed spotlight on women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs in Tokyo that has been highly impacted by the pandemic
Furthering its commitment towards its brand purpose #CHANGEDESTINY, global skincare brand SK-II returns with its last SK-II STUDIO film for the year – “BEYOND THE STADIUM”, shining a much-needed spotlight on a community that has been highly impacted by the pandemic – women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs in Tokyo.
The pandemic has been a tough setback for small businesses globally and especially in Japan with the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. 87% of women business owners globally have been adversely affected by the pandemic. This adds to a preexisting difficult climate in Japan for women entrepreneurs.
Employed Japanese women who are own-account workers are amongst the lowest within the G7 countries (4.4%), and significantly below the OECD average. 22% of women in Japan aspire to own their own businesses but only 5.3% of businesses are owned by women.
“BEYOND THE STADIUM” provides a thought-provoking look into a fight that goes on beyond the Stadiums in Tokyo. It celebrates the strength and resilience of women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs who are taking destiny into their own hands – keeping the business of their dreams alive in these challenging times.
Narrated by Kaori Momoi, award-winning actress and SK-II’s longest-standing brand ambassador, “BEYOND THE STADIUM” juxtaposes struggles faced by Olympic athletes in pursuing their dreams with the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs and small business owners in Tokyo over the past year which has been amplified by the lack of anticipated visitors for the upcoming Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
“BEYOND THE STADIUM” features the stories of Olympic athletes – gymnast Simone Biles, swimmer Liu Xiang, table tennis player Ishikawa Kasumi, badminton player Misaki Matsutomo and surfer Mahina Maeda as well as women entrepreneurs and small-business owners in Tokyo – Mai Odajima, owner of a kimono store “KIEN”, Reika Yasuhara, owner of a Japanese ‘wagashi’ confectionary “DAISANMANENDOU HANARE”, Ai Hashimoto, owner of a flower shop “ON FLOWERS”, Naoko Yoneyama, owner of a Japanese rice ball store “NY CAFÉ” as well Natsuko Shiraki, owner of an ethical jewellery store “HASUNA”.
With the release of the “BEYOND THE STADIUM” film, SK-II has also built a virtual shopping street–#CHANGEDESTINY STREET within SK-II CITY to feature the stores of these women entrepreneurs in Tokyo. Visitors will be able to drop into each store to experience each entrepreneur’s unique craft – be it to learn how to style a kimono in a unique way or see how traditional Japanese sweets “wagashi” are given with a modern twist whilst learning about their stories and exploring the stores as if they were in Tokyo.
“In these unprecedented times we are in, consumers have a much higher expectation towards brands and businesses. We know that we have an even larger social responsibility to the communities we operate in and be a force for good,” shared Markus Strobel, President P&G of Skin and Personal Care.
“#CHANGEDESTINY is at the heart of our brand purpose at SK-II. For years, we have celebrated how destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice through the stories of courageous women around the world. With the launch of “Beyond the Stadium” and our virtual shopping street within SK-II City, we are taking yet another step forward in our #CHANGEDESTINY journey. It means a lot to us to be able to continue to support women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs to keep their dreams alive in these challenging times in Tokyo as the Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
“BEYOND THE STADIUM” is the eighth original film launched by SK-II STUDIO™ this year following its debut film “The Center Lane” by award-winning director Hirokazu Koreeda featuring the inspiring story of swimmer Ikee Rikako’s return to competitive swimming and the “VS” Series – an animated anthology series of six films that explores what it takes to take destiny in your own hands through the real-life stories of Olympic athletes – gymnast Simone Biles, swimmer Liu Xiang, table tennis player Ishikawa Kasumi, badminton players Ayaka Takahashi and Misaki Matsutomo, surfer Mahina Maeda, and Hinotori Nippon3, the Japan Volleyball team.
In line with this, SK-II dedicates its #CHANGEDESTINY FUND4 to a programme to support women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs impacted by the pandemic in Tokyo. Proceeds from the #CHANGEDESTINY FUND, worth US$500,000 will go towards a year-long programme supporting women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs in Tokyo with Shibuya City and MEETALK – a Tokyo-based women entrepreneurship network to equip them with digital and social skills, business networks and platform to build and keep the business of their dreams alive in these unprecedented times.