Korea Innovation 2020: Finance and Innovation Support for SMEs and Startups

"Innovation, entrepreneurship, and access to finance are crucial building blocks of the enabling environment for businesses to be competitive, efficient and cutting-edge"

The WBG’s Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation (FCI) Global Practice combines expertise in the financial sector and private sector development to foster private sector-led growth and help create mark... view more


Opening Remarks by Hassan Zaman, Regional Director, East Asia and the Pacific (EAP), Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) Practice Group, World Bank 


Part 1 - Role of the Financial Sector in Innovative Growth: Policies for SME's and Startups by Jheenong Kim, Director General, Financial Services Commission (FSC)


Part 2 - Role of the Financial Sector in Innovative Growth: Policies for SME's and Startups by Jheenong Kim, Director General, Financial Services Commission (FSC)


 Part 1 - Providing financial and non-financial support to innovative SMEs and Startups by Nara Kim, Senior Manager, Korea Technology Finance Corporation (KOTEC)


Part 2 - Providing financial and non-financial support to innovative SMEs and Startups by Nara Kim, Senior Manager, Korea Technology Finance Corporation (KOTEC)


Comments by discussant Andrej Popovic, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank


Part 1 - Q & A: How can we translate Korea's technology assessment mechanism to low-income countries? 


Part 2 - Q & A: How much does it cost to deploy the various support initiatives to promote SMEs in Korea? What are the tradeoffs? And at what stage of development does one invest?


Part 1 - Supporting SMEs with Overseas Marketing by Dongwook Park, Executive Director of North America, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)


Part 2 - Supporting SMEs with Overseas Marketing by Dongwook Park, Executive Director of North America, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)


Government Research and Development (R&D) Policy for SMEs in 2020 by Chi Ung Song, Vice President, Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI)


Q & A: How have the financial instruments deployed by the Korean institutions been evolving over time? How are these instruments tailored so majority support goes to the companies that have the potential to compete in international markets?  

About the Presenters

Hassan Zaman

Regional Director

East Asia and the Pacific, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions

World Bank Group

Hassan Zaman is Regional Director for the East Asia and Pacific region in the Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Practice Group of the World Bank. Previously he was the Director of Operations Policy and Quality and before that a Senior Adviser for the South Asia Region at the World Bank. He also served as Chief Economist of Bangladesh Bank (Central Bank) and prior to that was a Lead Economist at the World Bank. Earlier in his career, he worked for BRAC in Bangladesh. He holds Bachelor's and Master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. from the University of Sussex. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals.

Jheenong Kim

Director General

Financial Services Commission

Jheenong Kim is the Director General at the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of Korea. Since joining the government in 1998, Kim has served in key government posts responsible for economic and financial policy, such as Director of Banking Division, Director of Insurance Division, Director of Asset Management Division, and Director of Electronic Finance Division. He currently leads the capital market investigation unit, which monitors unfair capital market practices and frauds. Before joining the FSC, he worked for the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Bank of Korea. Kim holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Oregon and pursued a Ph.D. in economics at Choong-ang University. 

Nara Kim

Senior Manager

Korea Technology Finance Corporation 

Nara Kim manages the global business of KOTEC, mainly coordinating international cooperation programs. She has coordinated KOTEC’s collaboration with innovation-related agencies in Thailand and Taiwan for fostering innovative startups and technology appraisal systems. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Inha University.

Andrej Popovic

Senior Financial Sector Specialist

World Bank Group

Andrej Popovic is a senior financial sector specialist with Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice in the Africa Region and a focal point for World Bank’s financial and private sector policy dialogue and operations in Nigeria. He has led and/or contributed to policy dialogue, identification, design, and delivery of lending, analytical, and advisory portfolio in Nigeria and other countries in Africa. He comes with prior experience in Europe and Central Asia and South Asia Regions of the World Bank.

Dongwook Park

Executive Director of North America

Korea Investment-Trade Promotion Agency 

Dongwook Park is the Executive Director of North America HQ of the Korea Investment-Trade Promotion Agency (KOTRA). During his 21-year career at KOTRA, he has led market research and investment promotion activities. Park has worked across different regions, including China, Vietnam, Australia and the United States. 

Chi Ung Song

Vice President

Science and Technology Policy Institute

Chi Ung Song is Vice President of the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) with expertise in the economics of technology and innovation. Previously, he was the Chief Director of the Division for Global Innovation Strategy at STEPI and led various global cooperation projects. He was a visiting scholar at the Center for International Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University and taught in several universities in Korea. Dr. Song also served in the president’s advisory council on the topics of science, technology and innovation.

Denis Medvedev

Practice Manager, Firm Capabilities and Innovation, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation

World Bank Group

Denis Medvedev manages the Firms, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Unit of the Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank Group. The unit is a team of macroeconomists and development practitioners working to provide cutting-edge, evidence-based advice to developing countries around the globe on policies to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, firm upgrading, technology adoption, and productivity. It accomplishes this by carrying out original research, contributing to lending and technical assistance engagements led by the World Bank Group regional units, and collaborating with multilateral institutions as well as bilateral partners and donors. Denis’ own research has recently focused on firm growth and productivity, while his earlier work explored economic growth, income distribution dynamics, international trade, and the Sustainable Development Goals. In his previous assignments at the World Bank, he was responsible for policy dialogue, lending operations, and analytical work across a range of countries in Africa, East and South Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America & the Caribbean, as well as developing forward-looking scenarios for the global economy in the Development Prospects group. He is an author of more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters, and World Bank reports. He holds a Ph.D. from American University.