Social Enterprise English Language School (SEELS)
SEELS is a social enterprise that provides innovative and compelling English language teaching services operated by underserved Filipino migrants as certified teachers. It targets residential areas with middle- and low-income brackets and plans to scale up and replicate its micro-franchising model to untapped residential areas where under-supported families reside. Akira Foundation works collaboratively with SEELS to foster an inclusive community-based ground for both Filipino migrants and lower-income families in Japan.

SEELS offers its services at very low cost and price, compared to existing traditional English schools common near train stations or around major cities. Most of its teachers have been underserved Filipino migrants living in Japan and will be certified through a high quality teaching-learning method, dubbed the Community and Home Based English Teachers (CHOBET) training program, in collaboration with the national network of Filipino English Teacher in Japan (FETJ).

Akira Foundation provided Mr. Cesar Santoyo, Executive Director of the Center for Japanese-Filipino Families (CJFF) and President of SEELS, with a start-up grant for registration fees and ‘patient loans’ for seed capital. Akira Foundation has been progressively supporting SEELS in terms of operational and strategic management so that it would evolve into a successful and sustainable social enterprise, while addressing dual social- economic issues between the Philippines and Japan at a new level of collaborative and humanitarian approach.

“This partnership is a key to Akira Foundation’s effort to raise awareness of insidious social issues in Japan and realize one of the two pillars in our mission statement: promote social entrepreneurship to bridge between Japan and Global Village,” said Hirofumi Yokoi. “We will invest the necessary resources to make SEELS grow and sustain, while supporting it to create significant opportunities for Filipino migrants and lower-income families in Japan to gain more confidence and independence, both financially and socially.”

SEELS Sustainable Social Business Model

SEELS Sustainable Social Business Model

Awards and Recognition
The awards and recognition SEELS receives are a testament to their and our success.

  • SEELS was awarded grants from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on Aug 9, 2013 under the project to promote creation of social business after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Eight not-for-profit organizations and social enterprises were selected, and SEELS is the only enterprise founded and operated by foreign migrants.
  • http://www.meti.go.jp/information/publicoffer/saitaku/s130704003.html (Japanese only)

  • SEELS was awarded grants from World in Asia (WiA) on February 24, 2013 in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the disaster-hit Tohoku region, Japan. WiA has supported local social entrepreneurs and innovators keen to tackle social and economic challenges in this region since March 11, 2011.
  • http://wia.stonesoup.jp/ic218/

  • SEELS has been named to the list of Global Hot 100 Companies at The World Summit on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (THEWSIE) held in Boston between September 26 and 28, 2012. The Global Hot 100 Companies are those companies leading technical innovation and business thought leadership to solve growing global challenges.
  • http://www.thewsie.org/prologue.html
    http://www.innovivor.com/spotlight.html


  • In 2012, Mr. Cesar Santoyo, President of SEELS, was awarded 2012 Gawad Geny Lopez Global Bayaning Pilipino Awards, together with 6 other winners from all over the world. The Gawad Geny Lopez Global Bayaning Pilipino Award is the prestigious national award that celebrates outstanding Filipinos and their distinguished works.
  • http://www.globalbayaningpilipino.com/
    http://mnnetherlands.com/dir/_page/102127/