Investigating the Factors Influencing the Sustainability of Social Enterprises in Korea


The unemployment rate in Korea is not improving, the income gap between affluent and poor is rising, and a big number of young university graduates remain unemployed (the employment rate is approximately 58 percent as of 2014). The demands of ordinary people for more jobs and social benefits are growing increasingly outspoken and serious. In this setting, social businesses have evolved in Korea as a means of tackling unemployment, particularly among disadvantaged social groups, and increasing the supply of social services. Since the passage of the Social Enterprise Promotion Act in 2007, the number of social companies has continuously increased, with a total of 1251 in December 2014. However, detractors have questioned the viability of social enterprises, stating that once the perks and government subsidies they receive as certified businesses expire, they fail to continue running or diminish in size. The goal of this research is to look at the factors that determine the long-term viability of social enterprises in Korea, as well as to provide theoretical and policy implications on how to increase viability.

Author (S) Details

Young-Chool Choi
Department of Public Administration, Chungbuk National University, Korea.

Ji-Hyun Jang
College of Liberal Arts, Sangmyung University, Korea.

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