A quick question: with the current Korean economy in mind, which is more desirable, economic democracy or entrepreneurship? With the presidential election coming up in December, this is one of the hot potatoes of the current South Korean Politics scene.
Recently, a panel discussion was held in Sungkyunkwan University. Adequately named ‘Future Entrepreneurship Forum’, the members discussed at length the need to resurrect the dying culture of Korean entrepreneurship.
The panel consisted of distinguished South Korean scholars and academicians such as Professors Hogeun Song and Dongyup Shin and was chaired by Changgyu Hwang (R&D Strategic Director of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, also CEO of Samsung Electronics) and Jongyong Yoon (Chairman of Korea Electronics Association). Other members included Youngho Oh (President of KOTRA), and Heebum Lee (President of Korean Enterpreneurs Committee) just to name a few.
The readers will not be surprised that the key topic of this discussion was ‘The need to revive Korean Entrepreneurship’, considering the fact that there has been a drastic change in the current mindset of Korean people – among CEOs of companies and young entrepreneurs as well as those who are well in their 40s and 50s. The real question is: why are people not taking chances? Why do they become complacent? What happened to the mindset and attitude that made the very ‘Korean Miracle’ possible?
The panel suggested that companies should put in every single one of their efforts into becoming a global player at an international level while operating consistently with business ethics at a domestic level. With the current “complete deterioration” of the Korean enterprise spirit, there are obvious grounds for breakthrough for new businesses, new startups and new companies. This road, however, is seldom taken by the current generation of Koreans.