Asia | December 22, 2017

South Korea’s SK Group introduces social enterprise fund

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South Korea lags behind global and regional peers in raising and allocating impact capital. But several initiatives are bubbling.

The large conglomerate SK Group’s new 13 billion won ($12 million) private equity fund aims to back homegrown social enterprises.

Chairman Chey Tae-won envisions 100,000 social enterprises across the country accounting for about 3% of GDP, up from about 1,700 registered social enterprises in South Korea that now account for 0.25% of GDP. SK has raised 5 billion won from the group’s philanthropic arm and KEB Hana Bank.

Other Korean impact funds include a $63 million fund created by Lee Hun Jai, a former deputy prime minister and finance minister; Wonyoung Kim’s Crevisse; and the Root Impact project from Kyungsun Chung, a member of the Hyundai Group family (listen to the Returns on Investment podcast interview).