Opening Ceremony of the Seoul Women Venture Plaza
Date: April 9, 2013
Venue: Seoul Women Venter Plaza
Hello! I am Park Won Soon, the mayor of Seoul.
Today, it is a great pleasure to open the Seoul Women Venture Plaza (SWVP).
“I want to work, but I cannot find a job.”
“I want to start my own business, but I don’t have any space or sufficient funding.”
The SWVP is a place that supports women facing such problems. Particularly, women who could not maintain their careers due to marriage and childbirth are more than welcome here. The Seoul Metropolitan Government is already supporting women who plan to start their own businesses at Seoul City Woman UP, Nambu Woman UP, and Bukbu Woman UP.
Regarding the opening of the SWVP, many were concerned about how to find customized support for prospective women entrepreneurs. Therefore, the plaza will become a place that fits the characteristics of women start-up founders in the area of craft design. Some 15 aspiring women designers will start their businesses through the plaza.
These days, one out of three self-employed start-up founders go bankrupt within a year, and about 48 percent close their doors after three years. Amid this prolonged economic downturn, meticulous preparation is essential, and differentiation within the existing business area is one of the ways to sustain a business. In this respect, craft design is expected to match the unique characteristics of women while possessing the strength of being a specialized business. A few weeks ago, I participated in Seoul Fashion Week, and I found that the Korean people have truly unique tastes and talents. A T-shirt on which you can write a message, many types of shoes, and gorgeous necklaces… they were all very unique and beautiful. I firmly believe that if these competent start-up founders are given support by the Seoul Metropolitan Government —regarding consulting, space, or PR— brands with very unique characteristics will be created.
I have emphasized several times that I will turn Seoul into a “craft city,” and I think the SWVP will serve as an incubator for this purpose.
The SWVP is located inside Dogok Subway Station. That is a rather unique location, isn’t it? There was a space issue, but the Seoul Metropolitan Government wanted to attract attention to start-up businesses in one of the busiest areas in Seoul while enabling citizens who want to learn crafts to join the classes offered without hesitation.
I want to express my gratitude to Seoul Metro and Seoul City Woman UP for their active cooperation in founding the SWVP.
In addition, I wish the 15 aspiring women designers all the best in their future endeavors!