COVID-19 Recovery Programme

YBI’s programme supported by Google.org providing access to entrepreneurial resources and content, training and support to 20,000 underserved social enterprises and SMEs in Korea

COVID-19 Recovery Programme for social entrepreneurs in Korea, supported by Google.org

Youth Business International (YBI) is leading a COVID-19 recovery programme in Korea focussed on social entrepreneurs and SMEs, supported by a $2 million grant from Google.org.

Programme Overview

This initiative follows the success of YBI's 2020-21 COVID-19 Rapid Response and Recovery programme, also supported by Google.org, which worked with entrepreneurs to sustain their businesses and overcome the initial impacts of the pandemic. This programme reached over 400,000 entrepreneurs in 32 countries across EMEA and APAC, including Korea, maintaining 95,628 jobs and with over 100,000 supported businesses still trading by the programme’s end.

To ensure the most vulnerable enterprises get the support they need, the program will deliver in-depth training and support with a focus on underserved groups in Korea including women and refugee social entrepreneurs, to help them build skills, confidence, and adaptability. 85.1% of social enterprises in Korea have reported reduced cash flows and 83.7% reported a drop in sales (ILO). Many social enterprises continue to lack sufficient knowledge and skills in business planning, innovation and operation. Moreover, last year the Korea Economic Research Institute reported that the sales of independent merchants (SMEs) were down 78.5% in the first half of the year alone and with business curfews recently being reintroduced to manage rising numbers of COVID cases, SMEs need support to pivot and adapt.

Programme Structure

Over the next two years, YBI’s Korean delivery partners Work Together Foundation and Impact Square Inc will provide the following support to these SMEs and social enterprises:

  • Forums for social enterprises to share insights and knowledge on how social entrepreneurs have navigated COVID-19 successfully 

  • Online and offline intensive training courses for early-stage social enterprises on key topics including business model development, digital transformation and marketing with a specialised track for women-led social enterprises dealing with gender specific business challenges 

  • Peer networking events for social enterprises to receive in-depth business consulting and technical advice from business mentors 

  • A mobile-friendly online platform that will provide access to support resources for SMEs, start-ups and social enterprises 

The delivery partners in Korea are:

Work Together Foundation will focus its efforts on in-depth training and support to build the skills, confidence and adaptability of social entrepreneurs, while Impact Square Inc will provide access to broad-based entrepreneurial resources for SMEs, start-ups and social enterprises through the development of an online platform.

Brian Founder of Pokeguide Hong Kong

“People are staying at home during the COVID-19 crisis and that decreases the use of our app, which helps wheelchair users and visually impaired people to move around cities. But we think this is fine because staying safe is more important. We’re looking at ways to adapt our services to make them useful during these times.”

Khurshida Owner of Retro Colors boutique Bangladesh

“I am proud to be an entrepreneur but now I am very afraid. I have never seen anything like the COVID-19 pandemic. All my networks have been broken. I don’t know how I will survive or how to support my workers in this situation. I need some guidance on alternative ways to run my enterprise and regain my confidence ”

Those who make it possible

View all
Google.org

Google.org

IDB Lab

IDB Lab

IKEA Foundation

IKEA Foundation

Worshipful Company of Management Consultants

Worshipful Company of Management Consultants

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