Small and Medium Business Administration develops plans to promote women''s participation in economic activities with the enactment of Women''s Business Support Act in 1999
Small and Medium Business Administration develops plans to promote women''s participation in economic activities with the enactment of Women''s Business Support Act in 1999
  • 여성신문
  • 승인 2005.08.20 00:00
  • 수정 2013-07-12 16:27
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9th Women Entrepreneurs Day event took place on July 6th. The event was celebrated grandly by the presence of lawmakers, ministers, and over 500 women entrepreneurs.
9th Women Entrepreneurs Day event took place on July 6th. The event was celebrated grandly by the presence of lawmakers, ministers, and over 500 women entrepreneurs.
With the enactment of the Women's Business Support Act in 1999, the Korean government started to support female-owned business and assist women in starting their own businesses. With the passage of last June's revised bill, which expands the definition of "businesswomen" from "female executives in female-owned or managed companies" to "female executives of all companies," women working at all types of companies can now participate in various business-related networking and take advantage of the government's support programs.

The Women's Business Support Act requires the administrator of the Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) to develop an annual basic plan to promote women's business activities with the establishment of a Committee on Expediting Women's Business Activities within the SMBA to review the plan. SMBA administrators are required to conduct field inquires every two years in order to assess the current situation and activities of companies led by women and publish the results. The act, moreover, stipulates that plans to purchase goods manufactured by companies led by women should be separately included in the purchase plans that heads of public organizations draw up. Also, national and local governments should give preferential treatment to companies run by women when providing financial support to companies. Female entrepreneurs, however, agree that the law will provide more substantial support when details regarding the procurement of goods and financial support are clarified.

Currently, the government provides support by extending credit guarantee services for the liabilities of enterprises that are technically advanced but lack tangible collateral through organizations such as Korea Credit Guarantee Fund, Credit Guarantee Foundation, and Korea Technology Credit Guarantee Fund. Among these organizations, Korea Technology Credit Guarantee Fund offers valuable support to small and medium venture enterprises since it provides credit guarantees to facilitate financing for enterprises that are currently developing or commercializing their technology.

Female owners of small businesses can receive support by acquiring training and small business confirmation notes from sixty Small Business Development Centers located throughout the nation. The Training Center for Women's Business Start-ups provides office space and basic facilities to female-owned businesses established within the past 2 years or start-up companies. There is also a start-up fund (50 million won per person) for low-income female heads of household. In addition, there are programs directed toward women such as start-up support to create economic independence for those skilled in science and technology and start-up support for unemployed women. Additionally, competitions for female business start-ups and the Women's Enterprises & Inventions Expo are held annually.

Lee Kei-kyung is the Grand National Party lawmaker who proposed the revised Women Business Support Act, which requires public organizations to include up to 5% of their total procurement to be manufactured by female-owned businesses and the revised Credit Guarantee Fund Act, a bill that stipulates preferential credit guarantees for female-owned businesses.

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