SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — A large number of South Koreans are interested in starting their own businesses and earnings are their top consideration, a poll conducted by a public start-up support foundation showed Sunday.
The latest findings from the Korea Institute of Startup & Entrepreneurship Development (KISED) revealed that 53.5 percent of the respondents said they are examining the possibility of founding a business, compared to 46.5 percent who said they are not contemplating such a step.
The data was based on questions handed out to 3,000 people across the country between the ages of 15-60 from August to October last year.
Among those polled, 54.4 percent of men and 60.8 percent of those over 60 were keen on starting a venture, with 53.9 percent of those favoring such a move having graduate level education or being currently enrolled on a masters degree course.
The survey also showed that 60.7 percent of those considering setting up their own companies viewed profit as the key factor, while 52.4 percent said security was critical.
The numbers contrast with an earlier poll that showed people seeking employment placed job security above earning levels.
KISED said that 38.5 percent of those who answered said they were interested in knowledge-based service areas, while manufacturing was the second most popular sector at 18.5 percent and the hospitality sector was third at 17.8 percent.
The latest poll also showed an improvement in the perception of government support for founding new businesses.
Of those checked, 40.7 percent said the overall environment for starting a business has improved compared to three years earlier, roughly four times higher than the 11.3 percent who said things have deteriorated.
In addition, 58.7 percent of those surveyed said state support can make things easier for startups, although 5.5 percent said policy makes the situation worse.
Seoul has said it will inject 30 trillion won (US$28.1 billion) in the coming three years to make it easier for people to found their own businesses.
“There is an improvement in perception among the general public towards setting up their own businesses, with 80 percent of the people wanting an increase in state support,” a KISED official said.