Jisu Elementary: Home to Samsung and LG’s Founders, Reborn as the New K-Entrepreneurship Center
The former Jisu Elementary School, which produced the first-generation founders of Korea's leading global companies such as Samsung, LG, and GS, was reborn as a 'K-Entrepreneurship Center'. (Photo provided by Medium Vacuum)
The former Jisu Elementary School, which produced the first-generation founders of Korea's leading global companies such as Samsung, LG, and GS, was reborn as a mecca for K-entrepreneurship.
The Small and Medium Venture Business Corporation (SME) opened the 'K-Entrepreneurship Center' at the old Jisu Elementary School in Jisu-myeon, Jinju-si, Gyeongsangnam-do on March 29th and began to spread K-entrepreneurship to the public.
The center’s opening ceremony was held with Hak-do Kim, Chairman of Medium and Vacuum Corporation, Gyu-il Jo, Mayor of Jinju, Kwon Soon-ki, President of Gyeongsang National University, Young-joon Won, Director of Technology Innovation Policy at the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Sang-man Han, President of the Korean Business Association, Bong-gyu Choi, Chairman of the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises, and Han-wook Lee, Vice Chairman of the Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises. About 120 officials and residents attended the K-Entrepreneurship Center’s opening ceremony.
The former Jisoo Elementary School (opened in 1921, closed in 2009) is a symbolic place for Korean entrepreneurship as it had produced 30 founders of the top 100 companies in the 1980s, including Samsung’s Lee Byung-cheol and LG’s Chairman Koo In-hoe.
Jinju City and the Korean Business Association declared Jinju as the entrepreneurial capital of Korea in July 2018. In July 2019, Joongjin Gong signed a business agreement with Jinju City to establish an entrepreneurship education center and started building the center in earnest.
The center consists of the main building education building, a specialized library, and an experience center. The first floor of the main building is used as an exhibition hall, and the second floor is used as an education center. The theme of the first exhibition hall on the 1st floor is 'The Roots of K-Entrepreneurship'. It introduces the spirit of noblesse oblige of Seungsan Village and the entrepreneurial spirit of the first-generation global founders. At the immersive cinema, you can get an insight into the 100-year history of Korean companies. The second exhibition hall, themed ‘K-Entrepreneurship Forest,’ introduces the 100-year history of the Korean economy, the history of K-company, and the entrepreneurship of global and unicorn companies. There is also a participatory experience space where visitors can find out their type of entrepreneurship, define entrepreneurship, and make a commitment.
The center’s operation focuses on on-site experience-oriented education, the development of participatory communication content, and building a cooperative network. In connection with the center's value system, the education field is composed of three major areas of reflection, management, and social responsibility, and a common and specialized course curriculum suitable for the characteristics of the education target is constructed to enhance the educational effect.
The center uses an experience-oriented exploration curriculum that enables storytelling and links local culture and historical resources. It plans to develop non-face-to-face content using various Edutech technologies. In addition, to overcome the geographical limitations of the center, communication with the field is strengthened by operating on-site customized education that reflects the needs of consumers.
Meanwhile, to spread the K-Entrepreneurship value system, the 'Entrepreneurship Talk Concert', which has been touring in major cities such as Seoul, Daejeon and Gwangju since the beginning of the year, will be held continuously at the center.
In addition, it develops participatory communication content such as content contests and entrepreneurship research and academic conferences. The idea is to promote the national spread of entrepreneurship by establishing a cooperative system with relevant organizations with expertise in entrepreneurship.
From the beginning of April 2022, the center operates a program that visits Seungsan Village and the birthplace where the founders lived, to reflect on their entrepreneurial spirit and management philosophy, and to understand the teachings. Students and general citizens can receive education as the center is focused on nurturing prospective entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, and small and medium-sized business CEOs.
Chairman Kim said, "I am delighted to have created a mecca for entrepreneurship in this place where the first generation of founders representing Korea have nurtured their dreams. I hope that it will serve as an opportunity to bring about innovation and contribute to the development of the national economy by producing proud entrepreneurs.”
Anna Kwon from Newsis (March 29, 2022)