The Small but Strong Global Company Fostering project led by the Korea Institute for Advanced Technology (KIAT) is playing the role of a stepping stone for promising small and medium-sized Korean enterprises that want to go global.
Support projects usually proceed in the following order –- an explanatory session for companies, companies’ application and selection of companies to be supported, funding and settlement. Support agencies simply pay money. But this project is different. Support is systematically provided by KIAT, 17 large local governments, 12 regional offices of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and 16 regional innovation organizations including technoparks and the Science and Technology Promotion Agency.
Roles are clearly divided among supporting institutions. They include overseas marketing, management consulting, export finance, and industry-academy projects. In particular, Connecting Day in which support agency officials meet those from companies is popular among companies.
KIAT has designated 1,243 companies as small but strong global companies through the project for nine years since 2011. Of them, 62 companies (5 percent) grew into world-class companies with annual sales of 40 billion won to one trillion won. Considering that small but strong global enterprises post 10 billion won to 100 billion won in annual sales, the project is faithfully serving as a bridge to induce the growth of companies. In particular, since 2018, the government has selected 200 companies in conjunction with the Moon Jae-in government's national tasks.