The majority of the previous business incubating policies of Seoul City focused on older generations, while related programs for young people, if any, were temporary and only focused on university students.
Introduction and operation of Youth Business Incubator Center (in 2009)
For the first time within local governments, Seoul City provided a groundbreaking plan which covers the entire set of procedures for founding a business for young people in their 20s and 30s, and invested a huge budget over ₩19 billion, each year in related programs. The city has introduced ‘Youth Business Curator Centers,’ for areas both north and south of the Han River, which can accommodate up to 1,000 people each, as well as a task force responsible for supporting start-up companies in the Seoul Business Agency (SBA), in specific management and system operating tasks.
Introduction and operation of off-line Dreaming Youth Shop (in April, 2011)
After two years of operation, the city found that most Youth Business Incubator Center graduates manage to establish their own businesses after completing the one-year customized program, but later on, begin showing a sluggish pace in growing their businesses for a couple of reasons including difficulties opening up markets. To assist with this issue, Seoul City opened ‘Dreaming Youth Shop’ in downtown Seoul, a store for displaying and selling the products of the Center graduate enterprises to help the start-ups find reliable sales routes.
With the trustful brand, “Seoul,” products that couldn’t attract the attention of consumers before, are now being displayed in the ‘Dreaming Youth Shop” and have reincarnated themselves as bestsellers, as many of these start-ups have enjoyed a large increase in sales. As of October 2011, the shop registered sales of ₩2,360 million for 200 items from 64 different companies.
Youth’s Business Plus Center (in July 2011)
In July 2011, the city opened the ‘Youth’s Business Plus Center’ to commemorate the graduates of the Youth Business Incubator Center. This center provides a drastically larger space and various utilities for 200 start-up businesses selected among graduates for their higher growth potential. As a result, as of October 2011, the center recorded sales of ₩2.8 billion within three months after it’s opening, as well as the employment of 89 people.
Opening of on-line Dreaming Youth Shop (in October 2011)
Driven by the success of off-line ‘Dreaming Youth Shop,’ Seoul City introduced the shop’s on-line version to allow the customers to conveniently buy the products of the youth business groups, without visiting the off-line store. With this on-line store, the city could also offer young enterprises’ products that couldn’t make their way to the off-line shop, providing a reliable sales channel for young CEOs who were suffering sales difficulties of their products due to poor marketing.