“Send me your business ideas!” he says in his tweet.

Yusaku Maezawa is a man of many talents. He is the founder of the online retailer ZOZOTOWN, has an insane amount of money and – equally impressively – has the current world record for the most retweeted tweet in history, with currently over four million retweets. In fact, he holds the most and second most retweeted tweets, so it’s fair to say the fashion mogul knows a thing or two about social media.

In his record-breaking tweet in 2019, the billionaire promised to give away 10 million yen (US$92,000) at random to a hundred of his followers, as long as they retweeted his post. Maezawa repeated the apparent new year’s tradition in 2020, this time with more money and more people winning. The tweet quickly amassed over four million tweets, although not quite as many as the original.

And while his newest Twitter project doesn’t look like it’ll break into the top ten most retweeted, it certainly has Japanese social media abuzz.

“New project! Looking for 10 entrepreneurs!

“The Maezawa Fund is looking for 10 entrepreneurs to receive one billion yen! Send in your business ideas and expand your business with full Maezawa support! You have until 11:59 p.m. on February 16th to apply.”

This year, Maezawa’s followers have to work a little harder if they want to get some of his cash. His new project is for budding entrepreneurs who are looking to expand and grow their business. Successful applicants will receive an investment of up to one billion yen each (approx US$9 million).

▼ This could be you!

Maezawa insists that the investment can be for any kind of business, whether it be a brand new business, a pre-existing business looking to expand or even a business that you inherited from your parents. “For those who have the skills, passion and ideas but lack the funds to get their business off the ground, this is a perfect opportunity for you!” Maezawa said in a tweet.

However, there is a catch. “This process will take up a lot of time and energy, and so we’re charging a screening fee for each proposal of 100,000 yen (US$910).” the ZOZOTOWN founder said.

Maezawa’s original giveaway post didn’t require a screening fee, and some Twitter users weren’t happy about the new addition.

“This is impossible for an ordinary housewife…”
“Isn’t it more exciting to just give out 10 billion yen? I don’t know…”
“Other than the ten successful applicants, everyone else just loses 100,000 yen!? This is like fraud!”
“I have a business plan, but I can’t afford the 100,000 yen…”

However, some users were on Maezawa’s side.

“People who are mad about the 100,000 yen screening fee are the kind of people who just expect to get a billion yen without any intention of actually starting a business.”
“This is low risk, high return. That’s what entrepreneurship is!”
“I think the screening fee is a good idea. It’ll stop people who aren’t serious from applying.”

The post currently has over 27,000 retweets and people have replied to the tweet with a variety of business ideas, from a user who runs an eSports business to a company producing baby diapers. The tweet is even getting replies from users outside of Japan, written in English. Some tweets are from as far as Mexico and the Ukraine, so don’t feel discouraged to apply even if Japanese is not your strong point.

If you have a business, have 100,000 yen lying around and want to get Maezawa’s investment, tweet him your idea at @yousuck2020. Don’t forget to add the tag #前澤ファンド (#Maezawa Fund) and good luck!

Source: Twitter@yousuck2020 via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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