To provide an environment where “social economy” can generally thrive, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has opened the [Social Enterprise Development Center]and changed the direction of its social enterprise support from providing labor costs to forming an ecosystem that allow self-development and continuous growth.
A systematic intermediary support organization for each location and characteristic is formed to provide the actual foundation of a social economy ecosystem. To achieve such goal, the Seoul Metropolitan Government opened the [Social Enterprise Development Center], which will serve as the network hub of social economy actors such as social enterprise, town enterprise, co-op, etc., and the general creator of an ecosystem. [Social Enterprise Development Center>]conducts social economy research, suggests policies, builds a network between related institutions․parties, discovers and supports experts, carries out forum incubation· and operates a common business development and purchase support system, etc. It also helps with the establishment of a basic unit social economy ecosystem by discovering specialty businesses with local traits embedded therein to fortify the regional capacity and competitiveness.
Challenging and innovative social enterprises and entrepreneurs are developed through general, customized support in each growth stage to resolve social issues as social enterprises in Seoul’s strategy industries are systematically cultivated. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has also established an incubating center as well, designating a coach for each startup team to provide all information required from idea development to the actual opening of the business so that the social enterprises can boost their morale through mentoring, have experts consulting through pro bono connections, and get second chances to open a business again after failing the first time.
Public servants have made it their business to explore demand for public service enterprises in areas such as environment, energy, culture and education, etc. areas that can be newly tapped by the social enterprises to expand their launch scope. For new trial projects with clear demand, project costs are subsidized to support the capacity of the enterprise. Project costs are also subsidized through R&D business projects for growing social enterprises so that they get opportunities to acquire market competitiveness through product and service development. Costs for participating in international exhibitions and conducting market research, and product PR are also subsidized to assist these enterprises in entering the global market.
Forms a customer market in public field that allow prioritized purchase for social enterprise goods and provides a ‘social purchase’ demand based system that makes use of Seoul Metropolitan Government’s purchasing power. In addition, the [Public Purchase Support Center], which contributes to the expansion of public purchase market of social enterprises, is set up inside the Social Enterprise Development Center, serving as proxy for Seoul Metropolitan Government and related institutions’ public distribution projects while also developing products, supporting PR·marketing, manufacture and management of products, consulting and training sales routes acquisition, etc.
To build a foundation for a local community-oriented cooperative ecosystem, the Seoul Metropolitan Government discovers voluntarily established town community enterprises and co-ops and helps them succeed and develop a stable money-making structure through financial support. In addition, an intermediary support organization that will mediate the network and resources and create values to activate town community enterprises and co-ops is established along with systematic training, business consulting, policy support and network establishment, etc.