Chapter 12: The entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Korea: a review
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Emerging from the devastation of the Second World War and the Korean War with poverty, high illiteracy, lack of resources and competencies, South Korea transformed itself from being one of the poorest of nations to become one of the Four Asian Tigers. This is the ‘Miracle of the Han.’ In the past half century, South Korea began as a recipient of OECD’s ODA and became a donor to ODA. Today, South Korea has a creative economy with the nation being ranked number one in innovation by the OECD in 2014. As creativity and innovation are often synonymous with entrepreneurship, this chapter aims to examine the entrepreneurship ecosystem of South Korea longitudinally for the past half-century. This chronological narrative describes the evolution of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, specifically economic policy, human capital and market forces, from the 1960s to the present. We discover a number of systematic patterns over time that shape the current entrepreneurial status of the country. We conclude with recommendations for improving the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the future.

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