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A Sparkling Idea Moves the World
Koo Kim Gyohyun  |  smt_kgh@sm.ac.kr
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승인 2013.11.10  15:05:58
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www.google.com

 

 

 

One university student decided designed an on-line service with little up front capital that would allow his 2003 alma mater yearbook to be shared amongst friends.  Even though he was a typical university student, he had the Midas Touch merely with creativity and the spirit to challenge.  In 2007, he faced a classaction law suit, which had serious repercussions.  However, he sagaciously overcame hardship, and he soon became one of Times magazine’s Person of the Year.  Can you guess who it is? It’s Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the Social Network Service, Facebook.  Also recently, in Korea, “Creative Economy” has become hot topic; thus, vitalization of the young’s startup became a government authorization subject.  Then, are we keeping on top of the schedule for cultivating junior Zuckerberg?

A Crave for the next APPLE Tree

 

Youth unemployment is seen as a painful cavity in society for over a decade.  According to employment trends, reported by the National Statistical Office, the rate of unemployment (7.6%) more than doubled the rate of unemployment (3.0%), and fell short of the accession rate.1  Therefore, as a solution for this problem and to achieve the national agenda of Park Geunhye’s government, “Creative Economy,” the startup of businesses by university students is in the spotlight.  President Park recently emphasized, “We should construct a new ecosystem for today’s youth to challenge their creativity to their heart’s content.”2  Government is providing institutional incentives to seek out the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.  Oh Sewoong from the Department of Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising ’09 at Soongsil University is a current entrepreneur of the beauty promotion enterprise, Namjane.  “I attended an elective course on entrepreneurship, which sparked my curiosity, so I applied for the self-business startup programme on campus and got accepted.  The environment for young new businesses is improving.”  From this semester, the government is accepting applications for a leave of four semesters in a row.  Moreover, they are pushing ahead with its provision of university credit replacement for the startups.  That is, the government is going to give academic credit to students who attempt to start a business or who participate in startup clubs.  In addition, the government will also support people financially.  Small and Medium Business Administration Aid will be granted to 1000 groups to a maximum of five million won per group.   Not only the government but also the public at large is starving for invigoration.  At

 

 

PHOTO BY KGH

Sookmyung Women’s University, administrators first established the Department of Entrepreneurship as an undergraduate faculty and operated the Support Center for Business starters.  The Career Fair also handed the baton, and keeping the heat of students’ startup.  The Career Fair does not blindly explain entrepreneurship, it invites famed entrepreneurs, who succeeded with their startup businesses to lecture and offers various other events.  In August, 2013 Student Culture Road Show, the Joys of a Startup was held at Dongguk University.  Many celebrities were invited including the Minister of Education, Seo Namsoo, and startup clubs and groups from eleven universities participated.  The show was loved by all in attendance.

Withered Leaves of Tree

 

 

 

 www.google.com

Backed by the government and general public, young fresh interest in a startup business is sprouting.  According to a report from the Small and Medium Business Administration and Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development, 190 universities saw 1833 startup enterprises, which is an increase of 50%.3   Even though there is big attention towards startup businesses, in reality, the founding aid rate for these enterprises is still low.  Kim Dongsun, the head of Korea Small Business Institute said, “The rate of the 20’s startup is 4%, much lower than developed countries.”4  Then why do they just remain as spectator?  Behind current policies are some dark shadows.  First of all, new enterprises lack of creativity and novelty these days.  In other words, young people do not want the burden, risk, or challenge of something new.  According to a Korean Women's Development Institute report, most students prefer restaurant-related businesses like cafés/bakeries (16.6%), pubs (12.7%), and eateries (11.9%).5  However, these types of businesses counteract the essence of a fresh new startup.  Innovative ideas and ambition towards novel ideas is the biggest advantage of young people, but placing undue value on a restaurant business causes hardships; young people must compete against so many similar enterprises, which lowers the likelihood of success and intensifies competition.  Today, information technology is relatively unpopular.  Considering that young people are more “in tune” with consumer demands and have comparatively more information about those demands, they should use their ocean of knowledge.  Besides, 30.5% of students claim funding is the biggest factor hampering young startups.  When adding other factors like the potential for bad credit (15%) and the difficulty in actualizing one’s idea (17.5%), six out of ten young people anxiously await the valley of death.*6  Although there are reports of an astronomical number of startup enterprises receiving support funds, these beneficiaries are hard to find.  In other words, funds have yet to penetrate through to lower branches yet.  Surely, there is a pressure when starting a business, especially for the younger generation.  The phenomenon of extremely low earning rates at an early stage of investment is shown.  As a representative for Idea Breed Asset Management, Kim Hongil explained, “An enterprise’s success or failure is predetermined at the beginning of an enterprise’s operation.  This is the period when financial aid is essential; however, most people do not have the money to continue, so the business falls flat on its feet.”7  In a performancedriven society, the problem becomes more severe.  People that lack a future-oriented attitude, concentrate solely on fast success.  It is common for young startup businesses to have a high rate of initial failure since the owner does not have enough expertise or know-how.  However, it is adding insult to injury to inflict complete failure and frustration upon a rookie, who merely attempted a dream.


Water the Barren Soil 

 

To improve the quality of the younger generation’s businesses, young people should focus more on fresh new ideas that are related to either their interest or major.  It is inappropriate to rush into the restaurant business, expecting instant money.  They should think more deeply about their new business.  Last year, big attention was paid to Naonerplan, an exhibition held by students from the Department of Visual Communication Design and a startup club at Yeonsung University.  Despite little initial investment, they formulated a new business plan and opened an on-line shopping mall related to their major field of study.  They intertwined their major and design to create household items.  Like this illustration, business ideas connected to one’s major can easily encountered or sparks one’s personal interest, which evokes greater motivation and brings about better outcomes.
In Silicon Valley, there is a saying, “It is possible to head out on your own with only two net book and money for going to café.” Likewise, the government ought to design more ways to lighten the burden bore by young enterprisers such as offering financial help to superb planners through contests.  On 305th of the Sookmyung Times, Lee Jihyun, head of JH Company, emphasized the role of funding from society.  “Funding for my company came from the Youth Business Establishment 1000 project, held by Seoul Government to support new young startups.”  To foster an outstanding workforce, there should be more audition programs to scout for future Steve Jobs, perhaps similar to Superstar K seeks the next “Psy,” and air the programs spotlighting successful entrepreneurs.  In addition, more effort is needed to reduce the pressure not to failure as well as decrease the actual rate of failure.  Francis Bacon said, “By far the best proof is experience.”  In other words, a successful entrepreneur constructs a human network with other youth who are skilled and experienced to lessen initial difficulties.  Kim Sungeun, Department of Entrepreneurship ’11 said, “I had some chances to meet mentors from various fields in my major class.  It is quite popular lecture, since it offers opportunity to get help from succeed entrepreneurs, I hope there are more chances to meet them.”

 

The Secret of Chutzpah

 

 

Israel is the epitome of a startup nation.  Majority of young adults opt to start their own business rather than work for someone else.  Israel has a typical “Creative Economy,” which emphasizes Chutzpah spirit.  Chutzpah is Hebrew for astounding courage, audacity and impudent arrogance.  Israelis say, “Chutzpah does not take low as an answer.  Even when you hear NO, you still aim for YES.” 8  Rome was not built in a day, and likewise the government should support its young people when they challenge new ideas steadily.  Even though incentives offered by the Korean government and society have increased, certain areas need addressing such as low creativity, financial burden, and performance oriented attitude.  Therefore, young students should scatter seeds of Chutzpah action by relating our majors with innovative new business ideas and society should water them by expand contests and mentoring programs.

 1 Lee Seungwoo, “Ministry of Employment and Labor, Occupational View of Changes to Students’ Needs,” Siminilbo, September 27, 2013
2 YTN NEWS, “Park Geunhye, We Should Construct a New Startup Environment,” YTN, July 16, 2013

3 Min Seokgi, “Startup Heats…Clubs has seen a 50% Increase,” MK, August 5, 2013
4 Lee Changmyung, “We Should Liquidate Enterprise Rather than Supporting Them.” Moneytoday, November 12, 2012
5 Kim Heeseon, “New Fever for Startups, Is it Affecting the Fashion Industry?,” MK Fashion, September 12, 2013
6 Same as Footnote 4
7 Park Yooyeon, “Need Money at the Beginning of Startup… Only 30% Invests to Enterprise Under 3 Years,” Chosunilbo, June 20, 2013
* Valley of Death: Difficulties at the near of commercialization step, which an infant organization should overcome even after succeeding technically.

8 “[ET NEWS] [The Young Generation is Raise with Chutzpah!] Part 1. The Secret of Venture Kingdom,” ET NEWS, May 15, 2012 

 

 

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