“South Korea is in pursuit of creative economy, which has creativity as its core value, as a new paradigm of economic development under the premise that innovation and endeavor based on creativity can be a solution to the challenges we are facing now. It is entrepreneurship that forms the key part for the realization of a successful creative economy along with creativity. Creativity provides ideas for innovation and entrepreneurship realizes the innovation. South Korea is currently concentrating on the establishment of an ecosystem in which entrepreneurship can be practiced and is giving concrete shape to such efforts for the realization of a creative economy based on that foundation.”
The above is a part of South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in January 2014, in which she emphasized on the importance of entrepreneurship for the realization of a creative economy. Since she took office, many policy goals of the South Korean government have focused on the realization of a creative economy that regards creativity as a core economic value. This is because, without a successful creative economy, added value creation and job creation based on economic development are impossible tasks.
In the present government, the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning has set up a total of 17 Centers for Creative Economy & Innovation serving industrial purposes different from region to region. The 17 centers have found and nurtured a large number of promising startups with the Ministry of Education, the Small & Medium Business Administration (SMBA) and many other government arms encouraging the youth to start their own businesses by disseminating the culture of entrepreneurship and providing various training programs for startups on their part as well.
South Korea’s entrepreneurship has shown a significant improvement thanks to such efforts of the government. According to the Global Entrepreneurship & Development Institute’s Global Entrepreneurship Index for 2015 covering 130 countries around the world, South Korea ranked 28th in the comprehensive statistical evaluation of individuals’ zeal for and attitude regarding entrepreneurial activities and systems for supporting these elements. South Korea had ranked 37th on the list in 2013 and 32nd in 2014, which implies that the South Korean government is doing pretty well in its journey to a creative economy.
These days, the importance of the realization of a creative economy based on entrepreneurship is emerging as the single most significant task as the fourth industrial revolution, which is characterized by IT convergence and innovation, is expected to define the international competitiveness of countries across the world.
Entrepreneurship can be defined as a series of activities for creating new values by challenging uncertainties. This is not free at all. Instead, it can be achieved only when it is pursued consistently and by education. Continuous entrepreneurship education by the government and relevant organizations is essential for a successful creative economy.
Gaining much attention in this context is this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Congress Plus (GEC+) DAEGU scheduled for August 25 and 26 and hosted by the SMBA. The international conference for the realization of a creative economy and the promotion and dissemination of entrepreneurship is scheduled to take place at the EXCO Convention Center located in Daegu City.
Run by the Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation (KEF), the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), the Yeungnam University Entrepreneurship Center and the Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH) Entrepreneurship Center, this event is expected to be attended by more than 500 entrepreneurship experts at home and abroad, including approximately 70 entrepreneurship training and research experts from 25 countries such as the United States, Japan, Taiwan and Switzerland.
The GEN, one of the GEC+ DAEGU co-runners, is a global organization made up of entrepreneurship experts and agencies located in 160 countries across the world. Serving the purpose of enriching the global startup ecosystem based on mutual cooperation, the GEN is an organization affiliated with the Kauffman Foundation, one of the largest entrepreneurship foundations in the United States. The GEN holds the GEC and the GEC+ each year in order to foster the entrepreneurship of its member countries and promote mutual cooperation and exchange. In addition, the GEN holds various region-specific entrepreneurship events in the countries in the third week of every November, which it calls Global Entrepreneurship Weekend.
The GEC+ DAEGU is the first GEC+ event in the world. The GEC+ differs from the GEC held in March each year in that the former is for experts to choose some specific entrepreneurship topics and have more in-depth and intensive discussions.
The slogan of the GEC+ DAEGU is Glocal Entrepreneurship Education. During the conference, the participants will share various opinions and case studies that have the topic of entrepreneurship education and regional entrepreneurship ecosystem establishment.
The opening ceremony and various conferences are scheduled for the first day of the occasion. These are to be attended by approximately 500 persons, including the general public and college students interested in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship experts from the 25 countries.
Opening ceremony participants include SMBA administrator Joo Young-seop, Daegu City mayor Kwon Yeon-jin, KEF chairman Nam Min-woo, Yeungnam University president Noh Seok-kyun, POSTECH president Kim Do-yeon, GEN president Jonathan Ortmans, Kauffman Foundation senior fellow Phil Auerswald, UNCTAD Entrepreneurship Section chief Fiorina Mugione and Anthony Farr, CEO of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa.
The following conferences are divided into two sessions, one being for the presentation and discussion of case studies regarding global entrepreneurship education in different countries and the other being for those of case studies with regard to regional entrepreneurship ecosystem establishment. In the first session to be presided over by Seoul National University professor Yoo Byeong-joon, case presentations will be made by the CEO of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, Anders Rasmussen at the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship and Lee Yoon-seok at the KEF. In the second session presided over by the president of the GEN, cases of Helsinki, Beijing and South Korea are to be presented by Jarmo Eskelinen, chief innovation & technology officer at Future Cities Catapult, Qian Wang at Zhongguancun InnoWay and Yeon Kyu-hwang at the Daegu Center for Creative Economy & Innovation.
An entrepreneurship education roundtable and a regional entrepreneurship ecosystem forum are scheduled for August 26. The former is for entrepreneurship education experts’ presentation and discussion regarding the current status of entrepreneurship education and the latter is to introduce regional entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The Yeungnam University and POSTECH Entrepreneurship Centers, in the meantime, hold a business idea pitch in which nine teams affiliated with the centers compete with one another with their business plans. In addition, the My Online Mentor Community event is to be provided as a mentoring session in which startups that have experienced failure share their experiences online so that people can change their awareness of failure. Also interesting is the Global Youth Startup & Internship Expo for introducing business items of leading pre-startups housed in nine South Korean collegiate entrepreneurship centers.
The international conference to be held in Daegu City is expected to have a significant positive effect on South Korean startups’ overseas business as well as the country’s international standing with respect to the diffusion of entrepreneurship.
< GEC+ DAEGU Schedule >
Aug. 25 (Thu) : Opening ceremony, keynote addresses, symposiums, conferences, etc.
Aug. 26 (Fri) : Roundtable of entrepreneurship education experts and entrepreneurship ecosystem forum
Aug. 27 (Sat) : Foreign attendees’ visit to UNESCO World Heritage In Gyeongju
Link to the Program: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/main-presenters-and-content-programs-gec-daegu