Washington, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), an organization of programs and initiatives that promote entrepreneurial growth, honored Minister. Choi Yanghee, Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning in South Korea, with the 2015 Startup Nations Award for National Policy Leadership.
Minister choi was recognized for his national public sector leadership in championing new policies or programs that advance new and young firm formation. He is the driving force behind Creative Economy Initiative, one of Korea’s biggest administrative goals.
“It is the bold, encompassing strategies and initiatives of Minister choi, from which entrepreneurial ecosystems world-wide can learn,” said Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network.
“It is innovative policy ideas and initiatives that strengthen economies and encourage development.”
Minister choi supervised the establishment of 17 Centers for Creative Economy and Innovation across major cities and regions, matching each of the Centers with leading companies. The Centers began opening in September 2014.
More than 300 startups came through the Centers, and 203 small- and medium-sized enterprises received about $31 million in investments. As of August, 42,000 people have participated in training and seminars on business creation through the Centers.
“The Creative Economy initiative has given rise to new markets, industries and decent jobs by tapping into the ingenuity of the people; leveraging science, technology and ICT; and upgrading existing industries,” said Kwanghyon Kim, who nominated Minister choi, and is executive director of the Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs. “Minister Choi has played a crucial role in successfully laying the foundation for Korea to rise as a Startup Nation of the 21st Century."
Roughly 100 delegates from 56 countries attended the Startup Nations Summit in Monterey, Mexico, where Minster choi was recognized. The National Policy Leadership Award is one of a series of three Startup Nations awards recognized during the Summit, made possible by the support of Mexico’s National Institute of the Entrepreneur (INADEM). The event is also part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrations held in more than 160 countries world-wide.
The selection committee based its decision in part on the program’s innovativeness, personal commitment to shifting local government thinking on entrepreneurship policy and ability to replicate the initiative or adapt it to other communities or policy areas.