July 5, 2023 - The Asia Foundation's "Accelerate Market Competitiveness for North Korean Refugees in South Korea" program, generously supported by the Aesop Foundation through Charities Aid Foundation, is making significant strides in empowering North Korean refugee (NKR) entrepreneurs to thrive in South Korea's dynamic market. In partnership with the Korea Merchandiser (MD) Association, the program aims to equip NKR entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in the competitive business landscape.
One of the program’s key components was the Access to Market Training, held on May 2, 2023. Led by Mr. Jae Pil Jeong, Chairman of the Korea MD Association, the training session provided insights into the sales channel landscape in South Korea. By arming participants with this essential understanding, the program sought to empower them to make informed decisions when venturing into new markets.
On May 11, 2023, The Asia Foundation hosted a pivotal "Buyer Group Meeting" for the participating NKR entrepreneurs. This meeting provided a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to receive objective market feedback directly from buyers. With representatives from 20 different sales channels, including merchandisers (MDs) and buyers, the entrepreneurs had a chance to showcase and present their products. The MDs and buyers offered valuable feedback on the market competitiveness of the presented products, provided guidance on product refinement, and advised on effective strategies to enter new sales channels.
To further support the NKR entrepreneurs on their journey to success, The Asia Foundation provided consulting services throughout June 2023. These services included on-site visits to the business sites of the participating entrepreneurs, with the presence of MDs, buyers, and industry experts. The detailed advisory sessions focused on addressing the specific access-to-market needs expressed by the NKR entrepreneurs. The consulting services provided essential guidance for the entrepreneurs' growth and market expansion, from refining products to concrete steps in entering their desired sales channels.
The "Accelerate Market Competitiveness for North Korean Refugees in South Korea" program has been a testament to the transformative power of collaborative efforts between organizations and committed individuals. By empowering NKR entrepreneurs with market knowledge, objective feedback, and personalized consulting services, the program is paving the way for a brighter future, where these talented individuals can fully unleash their potential and contribute to South Korea's thriving business landscape.