The Seoul Business Agency (http://www.sba.kr/eng/index.jsp), an organization exclusively dedicated to the cultivation of small and medium-sized enterprises and venture firms, will expand the number of companies using the Hi Seoul Brand in 2012, and will target one trillion won in combined sales of Hi Seoul Brand products by beefing up its various assistance programs. (* Excellent Company Brand of Seoul: http://hiseoulbrand.sba.kr/eng/default.asp)
The Hi Seoul Brand project is a marketing assistance program for SMEs, which the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Business Agency have been conducting jointly since 2004 in order to enable firms that have advanced technologies and good products but which experience difficulty cultivating their own brands to use ‘Hi Seoul” as their common brand. Hi Seoul is the promotional slogan of the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
A total of 44 companies deemed to have growth potential and global competitiveness have been newly selected through four rounds of a rigorous screening process after an open recruitment campaign from among SMEs in Seoul in November 2011. Henceforth a total of 150 companies, including 106 firms that were re-selected from among those which made the previous list of such firms, will be operating with the Hi Seoul Brand. They include 45 firms in information and telecommunication, 32 in fashion and beauty, nine in culture contents, 14 in eco-friendly green business, 15 in biomedicine, and 35 in living and ideas.
The SBA set one trillion won as the target for combined sales of the products with the Hi Seoul Brand for this year. This milestone comes nine years after the City Government launched the project in 2004, with the value increasing more than 100-fold from 9.5 billion won. The SBA aims to reach its target through a diverse range of initiatives, including joint product development that allows for cooperation in core technology and marketing between Hi Seoul firms; domestic and international promotion through various media channels to raise awareness of the brand products; support for participation in professional exhibitions in advanced markets and assistance with the dispatch of delegations for market development on six occasions per year; the supply of products to online shops exclusively for the Hi Seoul Brand in CJ Mall and G Market and other related types of promotional assistance; and support for the cultivation of global star enterprises among companies with global competitiveness.
Meanwhile, in order to fulfill their corporate social responsibility as firms enjoying the benefits provided by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the companies will continue to make cash and gift in-kind donations through the City Government’s welfare programs, including the Hope Plus Account (donations to assist the self-sustenance of underprivileged people) and Dream Account (education of children from low-income families) in 2012 again after 2011.