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Global entrepreneurship initiative inspires start-ups

Han Jung-wha (center, front row), chief of the Small and Medium Business Administration, poses with domestic and international VIP guests in the opening of the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Week at The-K Hotel Seoul in southern Seoul on Monday. SMBA
Han Jung-wha (center, front row), chief of the Small and Medium Business Administration, poses with domestic and international VIP guests in the opening of the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Week at The-K Hotel Seoul in southern Seoul on Monday. SMBA
The Korean version of Global Entrepreneurship Week, an international initiative aimed at introducing entrepreneurship to young people, kicked off Monday in Seoul, giving hundreds of Korean young entrepreneurs a chance to meet global mentors and learn how to create and run a global start-up.

Korea has hosted the global event, powered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, since 2014 in its effort to develop the ecosystem for Korean global start-ups.

Since the creation of the GEW in 2008, more than 160 countries have hosted the yearly event in November to expose people to the benefits of entrepreneurship through different activities.

Partnering with organizations such as the state-run Small and Medium Business Administration, the Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation is organizing the two-day event under the theme “global entrepreneurship, a path toward creative economy.”

“Entering an era of low growth and high unemployment of the youth, many countries across the world are in competition to boost entrepreneurship to drive growth and to create jobs,” said SMBA Administrator Han Jung-wha in his opening speech.

“Korea is no exception to this trend and it has sought to restore the ‘can-do-spirit’ of young Koreans for its future.”

Nam Min-woo, president of the KEF, claimed that global entrepreneurship could be the biggest gift to the next generation.

The invited global guests also stressed the importance of global start-ups in pulling an economy out of a slump.

“Entrepreneurship (of young people) is critical not only for the economic growth, but also for social integration,” said Mariarosa Lunati, head of Entrepreneurship, Productivity and Microdata Statistics Directorate at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

A variety of training and educational programs, led by global thinkers and business people, followed the opening event.

On the first day of the 2015 GEW in Korea, the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Educators shared its experience in teaching entrepreneurship.

Also, the Asia Conference on Entrepreneurship met to discuss the most recent entrepreneurship-related studies.

The second day will see a more diverse set of topics and speakers. Lunati will speak about entrepreneurship within the OECD. Xavier Cirera, an economist at the World Bank, will offer a diagnostic of digital entrepreneurship ecosystems.

By Seo Jee-yeon (jyseo@heraldcorp.com)
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