Recently, the number of youth start-ups has decreased sharply. According to the 'Youth
Technology and Knowledge Start-up Support Countermeasures' report announced in August
this year by the government, the ratio of youth venture CEOs in their 20s~30s fell remarkably
to 12% in 2008 from 54% in 2000.
Alternative for Resolution of Structural Problems, Unemployment, etc.
Unless young and creative new blood is injected into the economy, the foundation
underpinning continuous economic growth is bound to crumble. Consequently, the business
eco-system will collapse. If start-ups are not triggered, the employment problem also becomes
more serious. When reviewing annual average figures, we find that the basic employment
growth for Korea is estimated at about 300,000 persons. The employment structure is such
that among these, existing enterprises employ 10,000 and start-up enterprises create jobs for
the remaining 290,000. With respect to employment, start-up enterprises play a more
significant role than existing enterprises. The phrase 'Jobless Recovery' is also an expression that
was born because new start-ups have stagnated.
Korea's youth unemployment problem is an extension of growth without new employment as well. The is the very reason why the utmost efforts of universities to supply manpower to increase employment rates have fundamental limitations. This is because increasing the supply of manpower to address unemployment when there are no jobs is itself a logical contradiction.
Is there any way to quickly and clearly address such complex and diverse problems as eco-system, youth unemployment and securing growth engines? In short, youth start-ups can be one of the answers. Youth start-ups have the potential to resolve a structural problem of the Korean economy.
Also, if youth start-ups are activated, jobs can be created by young CEOs who know the difficulties of job seekers very well. Then, the youth employment problem can be resolved to a certain extent. For young people, a start-up is a heart-fulfilling challenge. On the other hand, they also must bear heartbreaking failures. Therefore, it is necessary for the public sector to make efforts to minimize such failures. We need start-up programs that systematically support with software, including R&D, technology guidance and manpower, as well as establishment of hardware.
Choice & Concentration on Highly Sustainable Fields
Also, the principle of choice and concentration is now important for start-up fields. Instead of establishing a general direction, start-up, there is a need to encourage 'technology and knowledge start-ups' that have high survival rates and sustainability potential.
These fields, in particular, can create new added value, so-called ¡®creativity,¡¯ a critical component required in excellent enterprises in the 21st century. Therefore, these represent good fields for ambitious young entrepreneurs.
Youth start-ups provide the precious seeds that can change the fundamentals of the Korean economy. Youth start-ups are also an urgent, common task for all of us, recognizing them as ¡®a new long-range hundred-year plan¡¯ to prepare the future of the national economy.