The Korea Herald


Seoul City to offer rent-free offices to foreign entrepreneurs

By Lee Woo-young

Published : Nov. 8, 2011 - 17:25

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The Seoul city government is offering rent-free offices for six months to foreign entrepreneurs here in Korea, officials said Tuesday.

The four incubation facilities for foreign business startups will provide basic office equipment, internet support and business management resources. Three offices, each 5.75 square meters, are located in the Global Business Support Center in Gangnam COEX, and a 25.9-square-meter office is in the new Seoul International Finance Center in Yeouido.

The city will select eight foreign entrepreneurs next month and provide them with workspace and one-on-one consulting on business start-up. Its services include promotion, building networks and offering basic administrative information, officials said.

Seven foreign entrepreneurs have successfully opened businesses since moving into the incubation offices in Gangnam last May.

Chinese entrepreneur Jang Jin Kai runs an online community website targeting Chinese students studying in Korea. Robert Chadwick from the U.S. started a green technology product business, and Roger Shepherd from New Zealand manages a mountain climbing business.

The GBSC in Gangnam has assisted foreign investment companies and foreign residents in Seoul in starting businesses by offering business information as well as coaching and consulting programs in multiple languages.

About 20 companies have opened with help from the GBSC so far this year. The center has provided a total of 2,748 start-up consulting services.

“We hope the city becomes a business friendly place where foreigners can easily start their businesses and invest freely. Their business activities will contribute to revitalizing the local economy,” said director of foreign living assistance Kang Seon-sub.

Aspiring foreign entrepreneurs planning to start firms in Seoul are to submit business proposals from Nov. 11 to 21 at the Seoul Global Center website ( Winning proposals will be announced on Dec. 2. The incubation offices will be available to the selected businessmen from December to May.

By Lee Woo-young  (