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IFC Innovation Day Discusses Jobs of the Future and Healthy Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Korea and Asia

Seoul, October 29, 2018— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, organized a workshop where experts urged governments, entrepreneurs, academics, and students to work together and foster healthy entrepreneurship ecosystems that will generate jobs and growth for future generations.
The event—the third Innovation Day organized by IFC—brought together experienced Korean and international thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists in Seoul. They shared insights on creating jobs and healthy entrepreneurship ecosystems in Asia, especially with a rapidly aging population.  
“Entrepreneurs are important sources of innovation, productivity growth and employment. They are the ones who can achieve huge unrealized potential by seeking innovative solutions to challenges that we see today. Creating an eco-system that encourages entrepreneurship is critical for countries to achieve sustainable growth” said Vivek Pathak, IFC Director for East Asia and the Pacific. “IFC is investing in start-ups and venture capital funds that can realize such potential”.
IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets and a leader in spurring disruptive technologies for development. IFC provides early-stage and late-stage venture capital financing through direct investments and funds. Since early 2000, IFC has invested half a billion in venture investments globally.
“Korea is one of the most rapid markets in embracing new trends with growing number of startups. Fourth industrial revolution is likely to bolster the growth for tech-based companies and accelerate the need for workforce” said Patricia Chun, Chief Strategy Officer of RGP Korea, “IFC Innovation Day was a great venue to think through the innovations and opportunities ahead.”
Hoon Sahib Soh, Special Representative, World Bank Group Korea, said, “With an aging and declining population, countries like Korea need to maximize the use of its high-quality labor force, including its female workers. Technology and innovative business solutions can be used to promote entrepreneurship among female and mid-career entrepreneurs, create new “silver” industries, and extend the productive lives of the aged.”
Joon Park, IFC Resident Representative in Korea, said, “Southeast Asia’s digital economy alone will grow to the size of $200 billion by 2030. With a rapidly aging demographic, we want to encourage future Korean entrepreneurs and investors to play a critical role in accelerating digital transformation in emerging markets, especially in Asia. We are committed to supporting them to seize the opportunities out there.”
IFC launched the Innovation Day series last March to encourage more Korean businesses to come up with innovative solutions for emerging markets. Since 1985, IFC has provided over $10 billion in financing, including $6.7 billion mobilized from other investment partners, to nearly 100 Korean projects around the world. Nearly half of that financing—$4.3 billion in all—was delivered after IFC re-established its presence in Korea in 2013 to help Korean entities expand in developing countries.
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
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