As a solution, the government is nurturing one-man businesses in creative industries like movie production or industrial design. It began promoting the program among college students on Feb. 23, 2009, and for a select group, the efforts are beginning to pay off.
A creative one-person enterprise is a company in which the CEO runs his own business, said Lee Hyoung-chul, deputy director of the Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA).
“This is a relatively new concept,” Lee said. “The one-man enterprise allows students to build real-life experiences.”
Successful CEOs of one-person enterprises advise students to be willing to challenge themselves and never give up.
“To succeed as the CEO of a one-man enterprise in creative industries, one should not just think but do what one hopes to achieve,” said Lee Min-suk (University of Seoul, 4), the inventor of the Subway Alarmy Application. “There are a lot of creative university students in Korea but not all of them succeed. It is because they don’t challenge themselves.”
The SMBA increased its budget for the program in 2010 by 10 percent to 44.9 billion won. It also guarantees loans of up to 300 million won for college students who need capital to start a one-person enterprise and provides a business center so CEOs have space to meet and work.
A Self Development Gold Card is given to CEOs with good outcomes, which lets them take classes at SMBA-designated institutions on subjects such as Business English or Game Programming. Total class tuition can’t exceed 800,000 won.
This summer, the SMBA will hold a competition for one-person enterprises in creative industries in collaboration with Hanyang University where university students can apply creative ideas and get academic credit based on their enterprises’ outcomes.
Shin Suk-hyun, inventor of the Omniano application and Gold Prize winner of T-Omnia Mobile Software’s Competition, said perseverance led to his success.
“I slept about three hours a day for two years to make the program,” he said. “I sometimes wanted to give up. There is no shortcut, but persistence brings success in the end.”
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