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Supporting Dreams Through the Youth CEO Project Updated: 2011-06-13 00:00:00 KST

Youth unemployment now has a solution: entrepreneurship!

[Interview : ] "Because it is so difficult to get a job, entrepreneurship is another way to secure one's future."

[Interview : ] "If I had money, I would want to try starting my own business."

[Interview : ] "It's expensive just to find office space."

As starting one's own business is not easy for youths who lack both experience and capital, the government is helping them with many support programs.

[Interview : Park Jong-yeong, Team manager
Gyeonggi Small & Medium Business Center] "It is important to help youth find jobs, but it is just as important to help them start their own businesses because that creates even more jobs for others."

The "Youth 1000 CEO Project" is one of these major support schemes.

[Interview : Jung Duk-young, Team Manager of Economic Promotion Headquarters
Seoul Metropolitan Government] "We began this program in July 2009 to solve the problem of youth unemployment. We select 1,000 entrepreneurs for the program every year."

This is the Business Establishment Center, a workspace for young CEOs striving for their dreams with the support of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The center provides basic infrastructure such as office space, supplies and operating costs.
Many entrepreneurs are in various are receiving support from this center.

[Interview : ] "We're making record albums. Since moving in, the business has become more stable, and we have been able to enter the market more effectively."

It also assists with marketing, by helping them participate in product fairs and even gain entry to large retailers.

[Interview : Kim Jae-hyung, General manager
SBA ] "The current economy is very unfavorable towards the youth, with high unemployment and increases in non-regular positions. We are supporting youth entrepreneurship as a way to create jobs and help youths achieve their dreams."
Lee Jin Hee[이진희] is a young CEO who moved into the center last year when her award winning talents were not enough to start her own business. She finally achieved her dream through the support of the Seoul government.

[Interview : Lee Jin-hee, CEO
SOYOU Design Studio ] "I get my own office and a mentor to advise me. I can also share information and cooperate with other entrepreneurs in various fields here."

The center also helps the young CEOs share information at regular meetings while minimizing failures through group management by industry.

[Interview : Kim Jun-mi, CEO
PUTREE LAND] "There is so much to learn as an entrepreneur."

[Interview : John Kim, CEO
TheHADA Design Institute] " It's nice because I can get help on many difficult matters such as legal issues."

They also receive personal mentorship from successful CEOs who provide them with invaluable advice while taking management classes to gain professional knowledge.

[Interview : Lee Jin-hee, CEO
SOYOU Design Studio] "I think access to information is the key. It's good to be informed about these issues quickly."

The training proved a huge success! Young CEO Lee Jin Hee finally discovered her market after moving into the center. She now diligently checks market responses whenever she has time.

[Interview : ] "Weren't there any samples[Interview : ] "There weren't any."

She can now dream even bigger.

[Interview : Lee Jin-hee, CEO
SOYOU Design Studio ] "We've tested the market with our products at fairs. Although we have not yet tested the market overseas, we would like to expand further with the opportunities provided by the "Youth 1,000 CEO Project.""

About 3,000 teams applied to the Youth CEO project this year, showing the overwhelming interest of Korean youths in starting their own businesses.

It was an opportunity for many youths to test their new ideas.

However, not everyone has what it takes.

[Interview : Kim Jae-hyung, General manager
SBA ] "First, you have to figure out if you have the aptitude to start your own business. No matter how good an idea may be, people tend to give up if they don't have the enthusiasm and spirit to rise up to challenges. It's a good idea to take an aptitude test first."

[Interview : Jung Duk-young, Team manager of Economic Promotion Headquarters
Seoul Metropolitan Government] "The "Youth 1,000 CEO Project" could become the key in reducing youth unemployment. We have generated 5,892 jobs through the program and we hope that it will become a new paradigm of job creation."

Korean youths are now charting their own futures. Armed with creative ideas and courage, they are exploring new frontiers. Investing in their dreams is how we create a strong foundation for the Korean economy of tomorrow.


So I'd be excited to see what kinds of businesses are created from this initiative.

There's a lot of untapped creativity out there.

And from what I've seen the young people in Korea want to work really hard.

It's very inspiring.
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