Chaebol gets with the Park plan

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Chaebol gets with the Park plan

Korea’s top conglomerates are trying to follow in the steps of the Park Geun-hye administration’s effort to create jobs as they come up with programs to support young entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses.

Hyundai Motor Group said yesterday it will earmark a combined 32 billion won ($28.7 million) over the next five years to create more than 2,500 jobs and support 500 new companies nationwide.

Korea’s second-largest conglomerate said it will first support young entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses through a program called “H-On-Dream Audition” and “Seocho Creative Hub.” Through these two programs, the company forecasts 750 jobs by 2017.

H-On-Dream Audition, which has been supported by the Chung Mong-koo Foundation and Ministry of Employment and Labor since last year, provides funding and mentoring to young entrepreneurs.

“We hope this program will become the nation’s top program for creating jobs and new businesses,” Hyundai said in a release. “There were lots of creative business ideas this year.”

About 300 teams that completed a social entrepreneur education course hosted by the Labor Ministry can apply for the program and 15 teams will be awarded 5 million won to 30 million won, while 15 will be designated as “incubating teams” that will need an additional one-year supportive program, can get 50 million won to 150 million won for their starting fund.

Hyundai also has been funding Seocho Creative Hub, supported by the Seocho District Office and a nonprofit organization, Seeds, to foster businesses started by young entrepreneurs.

The automaker also said it is expanding “Gift Car” activities, a CSR program through which Hyundai donates vehicles. The program, which started in 2010, and expanded in 2011 to include a people trying to establish their own businesses. The number of program beneficiaries will be expanded from 30 to 50 this year.

In addition, the company committed to boosting support for businesses whose priority is social or environmental progress rather than profits. Hyundai Motor Group aims to create at least 1,250 jobs by 2017 by supporting social enterprises, for which the automaker has been paying rental fees and other operation costs.

Other conglomerates have been also pushing efforts to create jobs and small companies with similar programs.

Posco, nation’s largest steelmaker, has “Venture Partners,” which funds creative business plans. Since 2011, it has contributed to the establishment of 22 companies with a total of 223 jobs.

Samsung SDS, an IT service company under Samsung Group, earlier this month announced it will open an idea-search competition called sGen. Anyone aged 14 and over is eligible to submit their ideas through next Friday. The winner of the competition will receive 30 million won, with 10 million won going to the runner-up. The selected teams or persons will also receive office page and legal advice.

SK, which is the most active conglomerate in terms of supporting social enterprises, has a contest that promotes ideas for social enterprises. The contest has collected 514 ideas, and 32 teams received business consulting, legal advice and other benefits.

“Fostering young social entrepreneurs goes in line with the new government’s plan of pushing the creative economy,” said Park Jong-kil, director of the Ministry of Employment and Labor’s manpower division.


By Joo Kyung-don [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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