Y&Y Mentor Teruko Komiya has worked for Citigroup since graduating from university in 2008. During her career, she has experienced many different sectors, from retail banking to corporate banking, until she became the Vice-President responsible for consumer and retail corporate clients. In her daily activities, she provides financial advice and helps clients build financial projections.
Before entering the corporate world, Teruko was curious about the world’s social problems and intrigued to find solutions for them. While in university, she joined several volunteering programs, including a childcare program in India and an NGO program by the United Nations in Geneva. When she heard about the Yunus & Youth program, she thought becoming a mentor would be a great way to get involved with those problems and to find solutions to mitigate them. And that is what happened! For her, applying her skills from the corporate sector to mentor a young social entrepreneur was a great way to improve the world.
Teruko mentored Y&Y Fellow Adele Bruggeman, who leads a social enterprise called HerActive, which is focused in helping women get active and give back in style by creating technical apparel with an environmental and social conscience. This is rooted in a mission to empower girls and women in South Africa.
One of the main challenges the Y&Y Fellow, Adele, faced was her business’ financial sustainability and projection. Upon being matched with Teruko, she was able to build sound financial assumptions focused on her fixed and flexible costs in order to build her financial forecast. She was also able to better comprehend her business’ industry, compare pricing strategies and become more competitive. Teruko’s experience at Citigroup was crucial to help Adele succeed in her social business goals.
Teruko also learned a lot from Adele. Her main takeaway was to witness Adele’s passion and deep motivation to empower women in her community through sports. This experience made Teruko certain that, if corporate professionals apply their skills into creating a positive impact, the world’s problems can be mitigated. For her, the corporate sector also has a crucial role to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as it can use its resources and influence to support impactful initiatives.
After the Yunus & Youth program, Teruko plans to continue her relationship with Adele to witness her progress. She also wants to continue supporting Y&Y, learning more about the world’s social problems and sharing information about them and the SDGs with her colleagues and clients.
Upon reflecting on her experience, Teruko would like to say to other corporate professionals: “learn about what is going on in your society and provide your experience to mitigate those problems, as it can be very important to reach the Global Goals”.