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.
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.
As part of raising awareness of Japan's homeless Big Issue Japan held a futsal tournament in Gaienmae involving a number of teams from IBS, Citibank, BEFC and the hosting Homeless Team. The tournament involved two groups with the winners of each group playing in the final. Another important part of the tournament was that each team had to field a female player.
BEFC mustered a team to represent the British Embassy for a tricky time when most members are at work and began with a rather fateful loss.
After the first match with some late arrivals BEFC's game got a lot better with straight wins on the trot, but it wasn't enough to top the group. However the only team to beat BEFC early on was the eventual winner.
All in all it was a fun and entertaining competition and we hope it helped raise awareness for Big Issue in Japan through football relationships.