The number of one-man creative companies in South Korea has more than doubled in a year, according to the ‘2022 One-person Creative Business Survey’ released by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups on March 9th. The survey found that there were 917,365 one-person creative companies in Korea as of 2020, up from 458,332 in the previous year.
A one-person creative enterprise is defined as a business run by one or fewer than five employees with creativity and expertise but no full-time workers. The survey showed that the manufacturing industry accounted for the most significant share of these companies, with 28.4%, followed by educational services (17.2%), e-commerce (16.4%), and specialized, scientific and technical services (11.9%).
The average age of the company representatives was 50.7 years old, and male entrepreneurs accounted for 71.5% of the companies, compared to 28.5% for female entrepreneurs. The majority of the companies (87.2%) were individual rather than corporate, and the primary customer base was individual consumers (63.6%).
The survey also revealed that more than half of the entrepreneurs (59.7%) were motivated to start their businesses by their aptitude and ability, followed by high income creation (21.3%), policy influence (9.5%), and maintenance of livelihood (7.8%). The average startup preparation period was 10.8 months, and the average period of reaching the break-even point was 15.3 months.
The significant increase in the number of one-person creative companies in Korea suggests a growing interest in entrepreneurship and the creative economy. The government has been supporting start-ups and small businesses through various programs and initiatives, and the survey findings may inform further policy development in this area.
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