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Enhancing the Competitiveness of ‘Innovative Small-and Medium-sized Enterprises(SMEs)’

Eunjoo OhㆍSeunghoon OhㆍSeungnam Yu


The importance of innovative SMEs in the 4th industrial revolution era cannot be emphasized enough in Seoul economy, particularly considering that Seoul has been the incubator of the nation. However, despite its magnificent interest, policy for innovative SMEs has been overshadowed by SME governance policy such as fair-trade between large and small firms and support for vulnerable SMEs.

This study identifies innovative SMEs as venture businesses and inno-biz as certified by the government. Based on the analysis of R&D input, cooperative behavior such as external co-op R&D and informational network, technical & economic output, this study finds that actively engaged innovative SMEs have better performance in technical and economical outcomes than non-innovative SMEs.

In addition to their superiority, this study reports the internal differences within innovative SMEs in terms of their own strategy and obstacles. A firm that failed in its attempts during the last three years had biased information network with the industrial society, which almost ignores the network with research institutes. Also, it is noteworthy that the reported barrier of a failed firm to innovation was the internal capacity rather than a financing difficulty. This study reveals that policy support should be differentiated by each stage of the life-cycle of the firm. An early stage firm needs more network with external resources and organization.

Taken together, the customized policy frame for innovative SMEs has been presented.



01 Introduction

1_Background and Purpose of the Study

2_Main Contents and Research Methods


02 Concept and Features of Innovative SMEs


2_Certification System for Innovative SMEs and Features


03 Growth and Characteristics of Seoul Innovative SMEs

1_Data Structure

2_Current State of Seoul Certified SMEs

3_Innovative Investment and Outcome of Seoul Certified SMEs

4_Regional Distribution of Seoul Certified SMEs



04 Innovation Behaviors and Policy Agendas in Seoul Innovative SMEs

1_Data Structure

2_Comparison: Active Innovative SMEs and Dormant Innovative SMEs

3_Comparison: Successful Innovative SMEs and Failed Innovative SMEs

4_Comparison: Life-cycle stage of SMEs


05 Policy Recommendations for the Seoul Metropolitan Government

1_Central Government Policy

2_Seoul Government Policy

3_Policy Directions and Strategies