Seoul Makes a Close Local Support System for Small Businesses

Now, as Seoul is pushing to “revitalize the economy,” the city has announced the Seventh Election’s (’19-’22) Seoul Small Business Comprehensive Support Plan for the 690,000 small businesses and self-employed people in Seoul that form the backbone of Seoul’s economy.

This plan recognizes small businesses as the lifeblood of economic activity and is focused on having more strategies which ensure their continuous survival and growth in the ever-changing business environment. To this end, the city will implement strategies for the expansion of support customized to the various life cycles stages of businesses and for the fortification of commercially-oriented competitiveness. A local support platform, which will become the foundation for regular support that helps small businesses grow, and a local small business governing institution, to attract the participation of other districts, small businesses, and public institutions, will both be constructed. To prevent failed entrepreneurship in some industries, Seoul will use big data to give startup consulting to small businesses. This will help to mitigate the financial burden faced by small businesses struggling with business management, to further develop the social safety net, and to provide balanced support without alienating or ignoring anyone.

Firstly, one Small Business Comprehensive Support Platform, which will offer a one-stop financial consulting and business development package for all small businesses in the corresponding region, will be opened in all twenty-five districts by 2021. The platforms will offer startup consultation and joint-brand development in addition to business life cycle services for a close marking of small business within the region.

To revitalize side street businesses, where approximately 80% of small businesses are situated, 60 “community business districts” will be started by 2022. Through support like a map which analyzes the local characteristics and consumption patterns in neighborhoods with struggling businesses, art marketing, etc, these areas will grow into “community business districts” that are competitive and get local residents patronage, revitalizing local businesses through local consumption.

To lessen the heavy burden of increasing business expenses, long-term low interest loans from the Small and Medium Enterprise Nurturing Fund will continuously be expanded while keeping interest rates at 2-2.5%. Furthermore, in order to ameliorate the disadvantages of small businesses in unfair trade situations, the autonomous districts will direct related administrative matters to improve stability.

This April, the Small Business Research Center, which will take charge of policy development for survival strategies and strengthening small businesses, will be established by the local government. This center will rigorously examine policy developments and promotions that can be directly applied on-site at businesses, and, additionally, will provide business analysis services to help small businesses be successful.

Seoul Launches in full Elementary Dolbom, with 400 Our Neighborhood Kium Centers by 2022

The universal Elementary Dolbom program will be launched in Seoul to fill childcare gaps during after school hours, vacations, and holidays for dual-income or single-parent families with elementary school students. With an emphasis placed on infant and childcare, Seoul expanded the number of national and public childcare centers to 1,500 centers over the past seven years and will increase the number of Our Neighborhood Kium Centers for elementary school students to 400 centers by 2022. This means that there will be a center within a ten-minute walking distance from each student’s school or home.

The Dolbom service network for first-time or single parents will also be improved. The number of Child Caregivers who look after kids from households with infants and elementary school students will be more than doubled (from 3,000 to 8,000) by 2022, and the Open Childcare Rooms (shared nursing centers), which are community spaces for childcare that can be used be parents, infants, and children, will see a tenfold increase (from 40 to more than 450 locations). For parents who work nights or weekends the Basic Extended Childcare Centers, which babysit children during the night and on weekends, will be increased from the current nine locations to fifty locations over the course of the year.

These projects will create spaces for children, who go to and from after school academies with nowhere else to stay, to spend time with friends and rest while also offering space and services that allow working parents to place their children under care without worry. These projects are aimed at creating a system of universal care for parents so that they can concentrate on work and life without worrying about childcare.

Furthermore, the Whole Village Childcare Conference, participated in by the city, district, and education offices and the neighborhood Dolbom institutions and groups, will be organized and operated by Seoul, with each district, to perform its role as a governing body which links and regulates Dolbom resources for each neighborhood.

Seoul Holds the “Making Workplaces Equal for Female Youth” Event to Commemorate International Women’s Day

In a time in which gender discrimination in the workplace is still rampant, the Seoul Foundation of Women & Family will be holding the “Making Workplaces Equal for Female Youth” conference on March 11th (Monday), 7 p.m. in the Seoul Women’s Plaza’s 2F Gender Library in order to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8th

On March 8th, which is International Women’s Day, significant for highlighting issues faced by women in the workplace, the foundation will hear cases related to gender discrimination experienced by young women in the workplace and engage in a dialogue with the public.

This conference will be connected with Seoul’s labor policy and examine the labor issues faced by young women in the workplace, specifically in the fields of digital media and social venture which were once excluded from labor policies pertaining to the labor market.
This conference, through such groups as the Korean Women’s Trade Union, the Digital Content Freelancer Union (DCFU), and other female networks within the tech industry, will focus on building a critical awareness of the new problems being faced by young women in changing work environments in order to broadly discuss gender discrimination in employment practices and sites of investment and their relationship with gender equality in the workplace.
More information about the event can be found at the Seoul Foundation of Women & Family website (,Open Plaza>Event Information).

Seoul Enforces Home-Visiting ‘Seoul Care – Health Dolbom’ in Ten Districts

Seoul will extensively push forward with ‘Seoul Care – Health Dolbom,’ which offers integrated support for all citizens to enjoy healthy lives in their neighborhoods in addition to medical consultation, nutrition, and rehabilitation services by visiting community health center Dolbom teams and connections with safety bars installation, companionship, and outdoor programs.

‘Seoul Care – Health Dolbom’ is a leading model of local, customized inclusive care. Health Dolbom teams will be formed and operated at community health centers that put residents’ health first, and professionals like neighborhood doctors, nurses, dietitians, social workers, and mental health personnel will be stationed. The teams will visit resident households experiencing difficulty with health management to offer extensive health assessments, disease education, and concentrated nutrition and rehabilitation services in addition to forming links with visiting community centers for necessary service support and follow-up management.

To construct a Health Dolbom infrastructure, Seoul cooperated with concerned organizations, studied the required sectors, educated professionals, and developed manuals and computation programs last year for thorough preparations that resulted in trial operations of Health Dolbom in the four districts of Seongdong, Nowon, Eunpyeong, and Gwanak in November and December of 2018. As the first project of the Seoul Dolbom policy-integrated brand ‘Seoul Care,’ Health Dolbom will be expanded to 10 districts and enforced in all districts by 2022. Health center branches, the hub of Health Dolbom, will be expanded to five locations and up to 80 locations by 2022. Health Dolbom teams will be stationed at all future health center branches as base centers of district Health Dolboms.

Furthermore, the city concluded the ‘Business Agreement for Construction and Operation of the Seoul Care – Health Dolbom System’ with Seoul Medical Association for stable launching of Health Dolbom last month on the 27th. This improved cooperation withㄹ private medical institutions and allowed for doctors of neighborhood clinics to take part in the project as Health Dolbom team ‘neighborhood doctors’ to increase the effectiveness of local Dolbom services.

Seoul Social Service Agency to be Launched in March with Appointed Board Members

Seoul will take direct responsibility of people’s health by opening the door of the ‘Seoul Social Service Agency’ to the citizens of Seoul. Long-term recuperation, activity support for the disabled, childcare, and other social services that were handled by private sectors will be offered firsthand by the community for fortified public concern, better service quality, and improved treatment of professionals.

The main projects of the ‘Seoul Social Service Agency’ include ▴firsthand operation of national and public social welfare facilities, ▴installment and operation of ‘comprehensive home centers ,’ and ▴support for private service institutions.

  • Firsthand operation of national and public social welfare facilities: The agency will extend firsthand operation of newly expanded national and public facilities in Seoul. Five new national and public childcare centers will be directly operated annually. Most national and public facilities at the time are privately operated under commission.
  • Installment and operation of comprehensive home centers: The comprehensive home center is a facility that offers integrated services such as long-term recuperation, senior care, and activity support for the disabled. These will be linked to the Dolbom SOS Centers and launched at four new district facilities and gradually expand to all districts.
  • Support for private service institutions: This will offer support for professional legal, accounting, and labor consultations and improve standard service operation models, which include the stationing of replacement workers at existing private organizations and facilities.

In January, for the official launching of the Seoul Social Service Agency, Seoul organized a board member nomination committee and publicly recruited nominees for the board. As a result, one director, six non-executive directors, and one non-executive auditor were elected.

The founding ceremony is scheduled to be held on March 11 and will be followed by staff employment and service preparations for official start of the service in the latter half of the year.

‘Seoul Global Startup Center’ Recruits Applicants for New Residents to Create Jobs for 311 Foreigners

Seoul is set to recruit 40 new teams as resident members of Seoul Global Startup Center by March 27 (Wed). Foreigners residing in Korea regardless of nationality with aspirations for entrepreneurship and business ideas can apply.

Seoul Global Startup Center, which first opened in 2016 to support domestic business startups by local resident foreigners, immigrants, and international students, is also a small global village with currently 40 resident teams from 33 countries.

The center fostered 117 foreigner startups, and among these, 41 preliminary startup teams succeeded and attracted investments totaling KRW 3.4 billion. In the past three years, the center saw an employment effect of 311 individuals from 70 resident teams to become the center of successful entrepreneurship for foreigners.

Selected resident members will be given a one-year membership for residence, and members can utilize the startup space for up to three years through a screening for extension. Not only will members receive a maximum of KRW 20 million for startup support funds and customized mentoring, but they will also receive customized support to attract investments and pioneer the markets.

Starting this year, the center will open and operate the ‘Business Korean Education Curriculum (approximately 30 sessions)’ and introduce online crowdfunding to attract investment and pioneer the way for overseas markets.

The required documents for application can be found on the Seoul Global Startup Center website (, and applicants can submit their applications online.
A briefing session on recruitment of resident membership will be given at Seoul Global Startup Center’s Co-Working Hall (3F) on March 14 (Thu) at 2 p.m.

2019 Seoul Global Startup Center Resident Membership Application

  • Recruitment: Approximately 40 teams
  • Resident Application and Judging Schedule
    • ○ Application period: Feb. 28, 2019 (Thu) – Mar. 27, 2019 (Wed), by 18:00
    • ○ How to apply: Online submission via website (
    • ○ Evaluation schedule
      • – First document evaluation: Apr. 1, 2019 (Mon) – Apr. 8, 2019 (Mon)
      • – Second presentation evaluation: Apr. 22, 2019 (Mon) – Apr. 26, 2019 (Fri)
    • ※ Final announcement: Scheduled to be on Apr. 29, 2019 (Mon) – to be announced via the website and individual notification
  • Applicants
    • ○ Pre-BI: At least one member of a future startup team is a resident foreigner with decision making rights
    • ○ BI: Business started less than three years ago with team (co-) representative that is a resident foreigner
    • ○ Post-BI: Business started three to seven years ago with team (co-) representative that is a resident foreigner
  • Evaluation Process: Document evaluation and presentation evaluation
  • Evaluation Items: Business feasibility, capacity for growth after residency, competency of participating team, etc.
  • Benefits of Residency: Office space, seed funding, training, mentoring, consulting, etc.
  • Residency Period: May 2019 – Apr. 2020 (12 months)
  • Inquiries
    • ○ Email:
    • ○ Phone: 82-2-718-1170 (during working hours on weekdays) / Seoul Global Startup Center Manager Hwang Jeong-seon

seoul global startup center poster

Event Photos

Event Photos
< Selection of resident businesses > < Resident business orientation >
< Monthly networking > < Customized consultation by field >
< Regular training on startup strategies > < Startup expo >

Manila, Philippines to Acquire Seoul’s ‘Smart City’ Know-How

Three directors of disaster prevention from the City of Pasig in Metro Manila, Philippines will be visiting Seoul for three days starting March 4 to acquire know-how for the creation of a smart city from Seoul, which has been ranked ‘No. 1 in E-Government’ since 2003.

Last May, Seoul dispatched an on-site inspection team upon invitation of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to give a presentation on an autonomous, high-speed communication infrastructure, measures for creation of a CCTV control center, and the intelligent traffic system for construction of a smart city, and led a discussion on application measures.

The team visited the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Metropolitan Integrated Control Center to analyze the urban infrastructure of Metropolitan Manila and share know-how. This visit was arranged for the promotion of actual project for induction of additional city buses and construction of an intelligent traffic system.

The visiting team plans to tour the Seoul Network Operating Center and the Seoul Cyber Security Center to learn about the autonomous information and communications network through the use of a subway tunnel, the intelligent cyber security system that protects citizens’ personal information and administrative data, and smart city infrastructure with plans to discuss substantial and cooperative measures.

The City of Pasig operates 15 city buses in Metro Manila, and Seoul will share the key know-how of Seoul’s smart traffic policies, including the Seoul Transport Operation and Information Service (TOPIS), the Bus Information System (BIS), and the Bus Management System (BMS).

Manila, Philippines to Acquire Seoul’s ‘Smart City’ Know-How
Visit to the Metro Manila Metropolitan Integrated Control Center Presentation of Smart City Excellent Policy Seminar Meeting with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority

Sogong Underground Shopping Center Smartens Up with Five IoT Technologies

Sogong Underground Shopping Center, Jung-gu, Seoul, which connects Seoul City Hall to Myeong-dong, has become smart with various IoT technologies of domestic start-ups.

Seoul Metropolitan Facilities Management Corporation turned the Sogong Underground Shopping Center into “a smart underground shopping center” based on five fourth-industrial-revolution-related IoT technologies to enhance the safety and convenience of the citizens. The Corporation is planning to apply the system to other underground shopping centers after monitoring the management of the first example.

First, the Emergency Evacuation System helps provide assistance in the event of a fire breaking out in the shopping center, triggering the detection of smoke from the sensor, followed by the outbreak of fire being informed to the crisis center, and the center providing instruction to the public on the proper escape route. Also, the arrow emergency lightings were installed at the entrances and passages to help visitors easily find the exits even in the dark.

Second, the Crime Prevention System installed in three women’s restrooms incorporate an Emergency Call System for a one-touch phone connection with crisis center personnel in case of an emergency, as well as an Emergency Bell in each stall.

Third, the Smart Farm, a greenhouse plant cultivator that absorbs the stale underground air to provide purified air, was installed at five locations in the Shopping Center and promotes an optimum environment regarding temperature, humidity, and watering to be set while the process of plant growth can be monitored through an app.

Fourth, the Floating Population Measuring System was installed on the ceiling near the entrance to measure and analyze the floating population, as well as their number, path, retention time, and concentration rate. The collected big data can be used for the revitalization of the Shopping Center, as well as for the promotion of public safety.

Fifth, the Total Information System was established at three spots to facilitate the searching of over 150 stores, what items they sell, the entrances, convenience facilities, and nearby tourist attractions in Myeong-dong. Four languages, including Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese, are available for foreign tourists.

※ IoT Smart Farm for Air Purification

※ Emergency Call System in Women’s Restroom

Free Suit Rental Program for Job Seekers: One-stop Rental of Suit and Shoes

Seoul Metropolitan Government supports young people through the Free Suit Rental Program for Job Seekers, which they can use up to 10 times a year to reduce the cost of job seeking.

Up through the end of 2018, a total of 56,913 young job seekers used the Free Suit Rental Program for Job Seekers, helping lessen their financial burden. According to the satisfaction survey, 97% of users liked the service, propelling the increase of suit rental centers from three to five over the course of the last year.

From high school graduation candidates to those aged under 34 who reside in Seoul, as well as university students or soon-to-be graduates living in Seoul, are qualified to use the Free Suit Rental Program for Job Seekers and rent suits free of charge up to 10 times a year.

Those seeking to use the rental service should make a reservation for the visiting schedule (date and time) on the official website ( and come to the rental center at the appointed hour. Upon arrival to the center, the visitor’s body size will be measured by the rental specialist, who will pick the suit depending on the body type and the target position of the job seeker. The visitor can borrow not only the suits of various designs and styles, but also other items required for a job interview, including a necktie, belt, and shoes, in one place.

The rental period lasts for four days. One’s body size should be measured only once upon the initial visit, and afterward, one can make an online application for a home delivery service. When one needs the rented suit for a longer period due to a busy interview schedule, the period may be extended via the reservation system and returned once the schedule has completed.

The March First Independence Movement of Seoul and Pyongyang: A Special Exhibition on the “Manse Movement” in Seoul and Pyongyang

On March 1, 1919, resisting against Japanese colonial rule of Korea, a group of Korean demonstrators initiated the non-violent Manse Movement (shouting ‘Long Live Korean Independence!’) to announce all over the world that Joseon is an independent nation and to participate in building world peace, which formed the basis for the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. Seoul is essentially the origin of the March First Independence Movement where it was planned and initiated, while the city of Pyongyang acted as the wings of the movement along with Seoul where the March First Independence Movement actively developed and thrived.

‘The March First Independence Movement of Seoul and Pyongyang,’ the special exhibition in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the March First Independence Movement, will be held from March 1 to May 26, 2019, at the Special Exhibition Hall of the Seoul Museum of History. The opening ceremony will take place on February 28 at 3 p.m.

The March First Independence Movement was not a one-day event that only took place on March 1, 1919. In preparation since January of the same year, the Proclamation of Korean Independence was printed at night on February 27 and distributed nationwide the next day, and the Manse Movement was initiated concurrently in nine cities including Seoul and Pyongyang on March 1. The exhibition spotlights its systematic preparation and the detailed process of its implementation.

In relation to Pyongyang, articles left by the deceased independence activists who were engaged in the movement in Pyongyang, paintings of the map of Pyongyang, and photographs of the place where the ceremony for declaration of independence took place on March 1, 1919 will be on display at the exhibition.

In addition, vivid images of the time will be on display for visitors through various exhibition contents. In an experiential exhibit to be held for the first time, visitors will read the Proclamation of Korean Independence out loud and feel their voices resonate throughout Tapgol Park.
Also, videos will be made available to help the visitors thoroughly explore the circumstances of the time of the movement.

Admission is free of charge, and the exhibition will be open during the operating hours of 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekdays (closed on Mondays except on holidays) and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. For detailed information, visit the official website of the Seoul Museum of History ( or call 82-2-724-0274 for inquiries.

A Special Exhibition on the “Manse Movement” in Seoul and Pyongyang
Poster Invitation Card

Background and Significance of the March First Independence Movement in Korea


After Japan’s forceful occupation of Korea in 1910, the Korean army raised in the cause of justice and patriotic martyrs initiated the independence movement throughout the nation, fighting against the unjust invasion of Korea by Japan. The Japanese Government General of Korea imposed forceful military rule and inflicted severe oppression on the Korean people, while trying to eliminate the just foundation of the national resistance movement by annihilating Korea’s inherent culture and thoroughly dominating its economy.

For these reasons, leaders of the Korean independence movement sought refuge on foreign soil including China, Manchuria, Siberia, and the Americas in preparation for the movement or waited for the opportunity while going underground by organizing a secret society. Some of the nationalist leaders who had been searching for the opportunity thought that it was the optimal opportunity to strive for national independence when anti-Japanese sentiment intensified after US President Wilson’s announcement of the principle of national self-determination, the February Eighth Independence Declaration by Korean students studying in Japan, and the death of King Gojong all coincided together, whereby they actively planned for the nationwide March First Independence Movement.


In the modern history of Korea, the March First Independence Movement has a great meaning. It occurred in Seoul and spread throughout the nation following the railroad and the marketplaces before its forceful cessation due to the oppression of Japan in April 1920. Over 2 million people participated in the demonstration shouting “Dongnip Manse (Long Live Korean Independence!)” and attacked the governing buildings of the Japanese Government-General of Korea. More than 50,000 Koreans were arrested by the police.

The majority of the Korean population participated in the March First Independence Movement despite differences in class and region, as well as differences in age and gender to unify in one spirit. They all gathered to cry out in their yearning for national independence and spread the injustice of Japanese oppression to the rest of the world. This, proving that every Korean strongly desired the establishment of an autonomous nation while under violent threats of the Japanese military, triggered countless numbers of national movements resistant to Japan inside and outside of the country after the March First Independence Movement. In April 1919, when the March First Independence Movement reached its climax in Korea, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was launched in Shanghai, China, reflecting the national spirit of the movement. According to the spirit, the government did not aim towards restoring an empire or kingdom but towards building a democratic republic where people became the masters of their own country. Established right after the beginning of the March First Independence Movement, the government guaranteed the rights to freedom, human rights, association, and equality of the Korean people and affirmed the realization of a republican government through which the will of the people is reflected in politics by the provisional assembly. The policy to found a country designed by the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was a political principle that was not only followed by all independence movement organizations, but has also been succeeded by the country of the Republic of Korea.

Conveniently Check Seoul’s Tap Water Data

seoul city water delicious arisu 서울이 만들고 un이 인정한 건강하고 맛있는 서울의 수돗물, 아리수

Seoul will offer citizens news about water quality through the Arisu app for easier access to tap water information.

The Arisu app will be available on the Arisu website ( starting February 22, 2019, and users can select neighborhoods on the map for water quality information, Arisu’s supply routes and water quality per route, construction information, park water fountain locations, and check water quality in real time.

The five Arisu information offered include:
▴ Regular monthly tap water quality, ▴ the ‘Arisu Supply Route’ that gives information about routes of tap water supply and water quality, ▴ locations of park water fountains and quarterly water quality inspection results, ▴ information on waterworks construction in neighborhoods, and ▴ real-time water quality renewed every hour.