Work Together Foundation (WT), formerly the National Movement Committee to Overcome Unemployment, was established in response to the financial crisis in 1997, as the largest NGO to address the unemployment issues that arose from the crisis. The Committee provided funds to over 5,380,000 unemployed workers and their families to cover living costs, representing 10% of the total population on South Korea.
Nowadays, WT envisages a sustainable society, resolving social polarization and is leading efforts to support social enterprises and growth in job creation in Korea. WT is currently working to address unemployment across a diverse constituency through its incubation centre, promotion of social enterprises, raising and expanding social capital, supporting capacity building of the civil sector and building a community network for employment welfare.
Korea has been driving the social enterprise agenda forwards with incredible energy over recent years. It is fitting that the social enterprise world forum, now in its 7th year takes place in the modern and dynamic city, Seoul. With the theme ‘Social Change through Social Enterprise’, this year’s forum will discuss how social innovation, social inclusion and social investment act as enablers to empower social enterprises to be the driving force behind positive social change. We are committed to using this platform to identify positive ways to foster and harness international collaboration to promote the social enterprise movement worldwide.
The main outcomes from the event were outlined in the ‘Seoul declaration’, signed on 16th October 2014 by SEWF Board and a SEWF host representative on behalf, and in the presence, of all delegates at the event’s closing ceremony:
- Firstly, we affirm that the seventh SEWF has been a substantial opportunity for exploring new solutions to unemployment, social conflicts, addressing the need for sustainable and mutual prosperity and social innovation worldwide. The SEWF actively encouraged in-depth discussions on social innovation, social inclusion and social investment for social change through social enterprise. We hereby pledge to make active efforts in the future to help social enterprises make positive changes to society and our local communities.
- Secondly, we recognize social enterprises need to secure greater means for planning, development and growth. We hereby pledge to make active efforts in the future to help social enterprises make positive changes to society and our local communities.
- Thirdly, recognizing that, according to the principle of solidarity, social enterprises need to develop a healthy network and actively engage with governments, private businesses and public sector organizations in order to enhance their competitiveness, we hereby pledge to make active efforts to that end.
- Fourthly, aware of the importance of government investment and support for the development of ecosystems and institutional infrastructure for the autonomy, creativity and sustainable growth of social enterprises, we hereby pledge to make active efforts to that end.
- Fifthly, acknowledging the need to establish active relationships with diverse social enterprise partners to form a social consensus on the roles and development of social enterprises, we hereby pledge to make active efforts to that end.
- Sixthly, agreeing on the need to enhance social enterprise’s roles in the discussion and consultation on international co-operation and exchange focused specifically on social enterprise, we pledge to work with the Social Enterprise World Forum to establish the support and means to achieve successful exchanges and networks.
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