The Big Issue Japan is a business response to a social problem: homelessness.
Established in 2003, The Big Issue Japan publishes a high-quality magazine that is sold by homeless people.
Having proved they are homeless, vendors are given ten free copies of the magazine to sell. After that they buy each copy for 170 yen and sell it for 350 yen.
The Big Issue Japan seeks to help the homeless help themselves offering a hand-up rather than a hand-out.
By working as a vendor, a homeless person can earn income and learn to manage his/her budget. The work also provides the chance to reconnect with the society and most importantly to regain self-confidence and sense of trust.
Working as a social business, The Big Issue Japan helps vendors recover their independence and self-respect while gaining business and management skills.
From September 2003 to March 2013, 1427 homeless people had registered with the Big Issue Japan as vendors. By March 2013, 5.71million copies of the Big Issue Japan were sold in Japan which provided a total of 802 million yen in income to homeless vendors.