Social Enterprise Fair
Date: November 8, 2012
Venue: Seoul Trade Exhibition and Convention Center (SETEC)
It is becoming harder and harder to live a decent life these days due to the prolonged economic downturn. When Korea was suffering from extreme poverty in the past, our ancestors had the wisdom to overcome their difficulties through cooperation within the community.
Today, our lives are much more convenient, but the wisdom in solving social issues through cooperation remains unchanged. Facing fierce competition, the livelihoods of many people are becoming increasingly difficult, leading to greater social conflict and growing polarization.
Social enterprises pursue the common good with the aim of addressing social issues while also conducting sustainable business. They are companies that offer more effective social services in the public sector than does the government, and they achieve this by addressing issues related to employment, environment, and social conflict—which cannot be solved with for-profit business approaches—in cooperation with the community and using various innovative methods.
The Social Enterprise Fair, which begins today, will introduce a wide range of social enterprises and seek to change existing perceptions of such social enterprises by providing hands-on job experience. Also, it is expected to offer opportunities for the resolution of common issues in our society through cooperation rather than competition.
About 100 social enterprises and “shared enterprises” are participating in this fair, which provides them with ample opportunities to introduce innovative ways of addressing social issues in a wide range of areas, including urban agriculture, energy efficiency, delinquent youth, and housing.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will constantly strive to discover innovative companies while facilitating the public purchasing of social enterprises, nurturing talented employees, and creating infrastructure for the establishment of a sustainable ecosystem.
Last but not least, I sincerely hope this fair serves as an opportunity to broaden your understanding of social enterprises and motivates social entrepreneurs to make greater progress.
Based on the innovative and creative initiatives pursued by the social entrepreneurs and relevant officials who took part in today’s event, I hope all Seoul citizens develop a better understanding of the sharing economy and a life of sharing.
I look forward to your full participation and attention, and I will always be here to support you.