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Thursday, December 02, 2004

"Self-employment, no rescue": 44% of self-employed "in poverty"

Noting the second article in Donga Ilbo's serial on the plight of small businesses (my previous note here); this one tells in the headline that "44% of self-employed are living in poverty". The article quotes a survey on 1506 self-employed persons done by Korean Labor Institute (한국노동연구원), in which 44% of the surveyed household heads (가구주) in self-employment failed to earn the minimum life expenses (최저생계비) of a four-person family, which the authorities have set at 1.010 000 won. [Note that only the income of the household head is mentioned here; we don't know if the spouse earns on her (most likely "her") own or is an unpaid worker in the same business.]
• Oversupply of small businesses (or "livelihood-type self-employment", 생계형 자영업); the proportion of self-employment in the occupational structure 2-4 times more than in other OECD nations (Mexico is another similar case)
• Government policy mistake in giving support to create masses of kind of small "livelihood-type" self-employment, which has ended up being of low quality, low productivity and low vitality
• Lack of supportive infrastructure; the number of advice and support centers for small business too small compared to the need, and the quality of available support is low; many of the advisors are former civil servants or bank personnel with no experience on self-employment
• Also the general lack of preparation and experience among those who open businesses; too few are those who have a long experience of the branch as waged employees and too many are the former white-collar company employees who suddenly become keepers of restaurants etc.

Oh, now I see that the article that I'm here referring is the introductory one in the series, and that what I made the previous notes of was the article no 1.

"Self-employment, no rescue" series article list
• continues in "Lack of Small Business Culture"

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