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Analysis of Non-profit Startups and Youth Employment in Seoul

Heeseok ParkㆍJung Hyun-Chul


Due to increase in internal and external uncertainties, Seoul’s economy continues to grow at a slow pace due to decline in investments and contraction in consumer sentiment. As a result of restructuring of the employment market and preference for recruitment of experienced workers, new jobs have been reduced and the number of unemployed youth is increasing. Recently, expansion of new industries and diversification of the social economy have increased the number of young entrepreneurs in Seoul. ‘Non-profit startups’ originating in the U.S. are emerging. Non-profit startups are not the perfect solution to mitigate youth unemployment, because it constitutes only part of a youth’s job. However, considering both socio-economic trends, non-profit startups may be presented as an alternative to youth jobs.

This study is focused on non-profit startups established in various forms as a form of youth jobs in Seoul. Non-profit startups are adopting a new form of business that has not existed, and is perceived as a social contribution rather than a for-profit entity. Non-profit startups are emerging as new entrepreneurial businesses with advancement of technology and the shift in perception.

This study consists of four components: analysis of current status, in-depth interviews with CEOs, surveys of youth in employment, and support policies and policy implications.

First, we analyze the current status of non-profit startups, the concept of non-profit startups, spatial distribution of non-profit organizations and non-profit startups, and impact on youth employment. Recently, there have been emerging businesses of non-profit startups within the framework of non-profit organizations and social economies. We introduce major overseas cases to facilitate understand the concept of non-profit startups.

Using the concept of non-profit startups as defined above, we select major non-profit startups in Seoul and analyze their current status and characteristics. Second, we conduct in-depth CEO interviews of several non-profit startups and a survey of youth in non-profit employment in Seoul. In-depth interviews are conducted with 5 major non-profit startups. In in-depth interviews, we look at general information about each company, start-up processes and experiences, main business contents, opinions on non-profit and youth employment in non-profit start-ups, policy opinions on non-profit sectors and non-profit startups. In addition, we survey youth working in non-profit startups to analyze the real situation of youth employment. The survey consists of job status, job satisfaction, future vision and desires of the business. Third, we discuss non-profit supporting policies, including non-profit startups, and youth employment supporting policies. The support of non-profit organizations is summarized mainly by the support of NGOs implemented by the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs. The youth employment support program examines policies related to non-profit startups among youth employment policies currently under way by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Finally, we suggest implications and policy directions of this study.



01 Introduction


02 Concept and Status of Non-profit Startups

1_Non-profit Startups

2_Status of Non-profit Startups

3_Youth Employment of Non-profit Startups

4_Overseas Cases


03 In-depth Survey of Non-profit Startups Cases in Seoul

1_Overview of Surveys

2_Interviews of Non-profit Startups in Seoul

3_Summary and Implications


04 Survey of Youth Employment in Non-profit Startups

1_Overview of Surveys

2_Youth Employment Status of Non-Profit Startups in Seoul

3_Summary and Implications


05 Implications and Policy Directions


2_Policy Directions