[Sponsored Report] Kakao focuses on ‘social impact’

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[Sponsored Report] Kakao focuses on ‘social impact’


Kakao volunteers and local students at Nadi Elementary School in Laos, the 11th school built through the company’s Global Hope School project. [KAKAO]

The crux of Kakao’s corporate social responsibility efforts is making “social impact” that effects positive changes in society through innovation.

Social impact refers to solutions to societal problems that can also achieve financial profit at the same time, solutions that can be realized through innovative ideas.

Kakao has been running various corporate social responsibility platforms where its 41 million users can participate in fundamentally changing how we think about buying, giving and supporting.

The platforms include Together with Kakao, a platform where projects can receive funding from Kakao based on the amount of engagement with users; Storyfunding, a platform where product creators can upload and sell their work and get recognized; Makers with Kakao, which allows group orders so that sellers do not have to throw out their extra inventory; and Kakao Farmer Jeju, which directly connects farmers with consumers seeking agricultural products.

Makers with Kakao, in particular, has seen average sales increase by 20 percent each month since first launching in February. Ninety percent of group orders hosted on the platform have been a success, attracting more than 230 small and medium-size businesses looking to sell their products on the platform.

To carry out this social impact business seriously, Kakao plans to spin off Makers with Kakao as an independent company to provide further opportunities for new artists to sell their creations and prevent overproduction.

Kakao is also fostering future talent in the tech industry through programs like Show Me the IT, a career experience program; IT for Everyone, an educational support program; and Unplugged Day, an innovative IT education program for young people.

Company staff and executives take part in various forms of social contribution activities as well. Employees at Kakao created a fund called Fund Together for six projects supporting low-income families in Jeju, children from low-income families, rehabilitation treatment for disabled children, IT education for the marginalized, preservation of the Baekdu-daegan mountain range as well as wild animals, and the education of children overseas.

Kakao’s support for the education of children abroad first began in 2006, when employees established an elementary school in Cambodia through a project called Global Hope School. Afterward, staff and executives established an additional 11 elementary schools in 10 countries through Fund Together. The company itself has also been supporting the business by matching workers’ donations every year. Kakao has so far provided some 5,600 children overseas with educational opportunities.

BY YANG SE-YOUNG [yang.seyoung@joongang.co.kr]
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