SEOUL, KOREA - Last year's number of "one-person entrepreneurs" was 296,000, up 13 percent from the previous year. One-person entrepreneur is a term defined in the 2010 law to nurture one-person entrepreneurship in the areas of knowledge-intensive industries such as motion picture, publishing and information services, and traditional crafts.
The Small and Medium Business Administration said on May 7 the number of one-person entrepreneurs has increased 12.9 percent to 296,000 from last year's 262,000. The number has risen 45.8 percent in three years when the government began compiling the data since 2009.
An SMBA official said, "As more and more baby boomers retire from their jobs and youths find it harder to get new jobs, the number of one-man startups is on the rise."
By industrial sector, science and technology services took the largest portion with 23.7 percent, followed by business services (17.6%) and publishing, video, TV, communication, and information services (8.3%). All told, knowledge-intensive industries took up 54.2 percent of the startup companies. In contrast, manufacturing areas accounted for 45.8 percent of one-person entrepreneurs.
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