Companies stationed in Seoul’s “Social Venture Hub,” which offers comprehensive support from starting a business to operation to young people who want to launch a social venture, have achieved successful results in nine months since the hub’s opening despite the COVID-19 pandemic—yielding KRW 4.7 billion, attracting investments worth KRW 2.4 billion, and employing 51 new employees.
Social Venture Hub, which opened in October 2019 near Seonneung Station in Yeoksam-dong, is the first hub set exclusively for social ventures in Seoul. Here, social ventures receive a variety of custom support—from office space to prototype creation, technical development and commercialization through private accelerators, investment attraction, loans, market development strategies, tax affairs, and legal consultation—according to their stage of growth.
As of present, seven companies supported by the Social Venture Hub succeeded in attracting investments worth KRW 2.35 billion in nine months. Four of them have developed capabilities through the “acceleration program” that supports enterprise growth, including business diagnosis, business value analysis, and investment attraction methods.
Three companies that are stationed in the hub—Aroundbody, Coactus, and Ballys—have been acknowledged for their potential for development as they attracted investments worth KRW 1 billion.
○ Coactus Co., Ltd (CEO Song Min-pyo): Its “Goyohan Taxi” service (hearing-impaired taxi drivers) succeeded in attracting investment through WADIZ Ventures at the beginning of June. On August 1, its “Goyohan Mobility” (Goyohan M) service was launched with directly-employed people with hearing disability.
○ Ballys (Co-CEOs Seo Jeong-nam and Kang Min-jun): A social venture that produces eco-friendly animal foods by recycling agricultural and marine products. It succeeded in attracting investment from D3 Jubilee Partners and MYSC.
○ Aroundbody (CEO Kim Ji-yeon): A social venture that has been developing eco-friendly, biodegradable sanitary pads since 2018. It has attracted investment from Korea University Holdings and has plans to develop non-toxic, eco-friendly sanitary pads.
Revenues are remarkable as well—over the last nine months, 14 companies have yielded a total of KRW 4.7 billion, and 10 companies among them created jobs by employing 51 new employees.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced that the potential for growth of “social ventures” are evident in that they are making a good amount of sales and creating new jobs despite the economic stagnation and frozen job market due to COVID-19.
Again in the second half of the year, the Social Venture Hub will be providing various programs to support the growth of social venture start-ups and vitalize the social venture ecosystem.
First, there will be various education programs and workshops for prospective entrepreneurs and a make-a-thon in the field of “Able-tech,” a special business model of the Social Venture Hub. Also, the hub has plans to reinforce the support of business expenses as well as funding and attracting investments through IR Round for the nestling companies.