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Most people would assume that to start a business you need plenty of time and money, or at least experience working in a relevant field. But an increasing number of Japanese women are proving this assumption wrong by setting up their own companies based on little more than a good idea and the will to succeed.

A housewife for over 20 years, Aiko Ishibashi now heads the Kawasaki Shimin Sekken Plant (Kawasaki Citizens’ Soap Plant), a co-operative venture employing 21 people, including herself.

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