- [Zoom In] Breath of fresh air from school-based enterprise “Sookmyung-i”
Sookmyung Women’s University’s “first” school-based enterprise “Sookmyung-i,” provides students with opportunities of on-the-job training and employment, financial investment to the university, and high-quality products to customers. Let's take a look at some of Sookmyung-i’s meaningful challenges.
Reaching customers with “one-of-a-kind” products
Assortment of colorful backpacks are filled with clumsy yet carefully painted drawings made by children. They are the backpacks for elementary school students, the first product that our university's first school-based enterprise, “Sookmyung-i,” introduced to the world. Sookmyung-i is a 1:1 customized service enterprise that produces products designed by professional designers using drawings drawn by customers rather than existing uniform logos or drawings.
<Customized backpack designed by Sookmyung-i>
Sookmyung-i is also leading the social contribution field. In 2016, the company presented bags containing memories and dreams of children to 100 children at the Severance Hospital's children's cancer ward with the hope they can soon return to their normal lives and school, and in 2017, the enterprise, along with Homeplus eParan Foundation and Korean Association for Children with Leukemia and Cancer, also delivered the “Hope Backpack” to 100 children with leukemia and pediatric cancer.
Emergence of “school-based enterprises” in the field of industry-university cooperation
With “school-based enterprise,” there are benefits of practical education and business effects at the same time, and it has recently attracted attention in the field of industry-university cooperation. In addition, there is an institutional support program called school-based enterprise support project that supports the growth of school companies. This project has been running since 2004 to ensure the stable establishment of the school-based enterprise system. The goal is to cultivate a workforce suitable for the field, promote industrial-educational cooperation, and help finance the school through fostering school-based companies.
In addition to generating revenue, providing students with opportunities of employment and startup
Sookmyung-i took its first steps in October 2014. Reborn as a design company, Sookmyung-i produces and sells our university’s own 130 kinds of goods such as various stationeries and accessories in addition to backpacks. At the Snowbridge, located in the Student Union Building, people can see various products of Sookmyung-i.
<Products displayed at Snowbridge>
Meanwhile, Sookmyung-i is showing remarkable achievements while simultaneously pursuing onsite training and profit business based on majors. It has created a coexisting relationship between “school” and “enterprise” through the “school-based enterprise.” In addition, one of the most significant characteristics of school-based enterprises is that the profits generated through the business are directly invested in onsite training expenses. This provides students with more fieldwork opportunities.
<Sookmyung-i design meeting with Professor Gyeong-ah Kim from the Department of Arts & Crafts>
Students can perform various tasks directly in the field, improve their job skills, and develop a sense of entrepreneurship. It is a great merit that the students can participate in onsite training during the semester, earn credits, and build a business internship. In some cases, students who participated in onsite trainings were actually recognized for their practical work experience, and were employed early in design companies.