[Seoul] – Sharing Economy Startup School for Youth: Sowing the seed of sharing economy

In December 2015, the Sharing Economy Startup School was reborn as a program for the teenagers. While the Sharing Economy Startup School was targeted to those who were starting a business using sharing economy business model, Sharing Economy Startup School for Youth was launched to plant a seed of sharing economy to teenagers who will lead a sharing economy model in the future.

Sharing Economy Startup School for Youth was implemented by Seoul Metropolitan Government in collaboration with Open Entrepreneur Center and 275 students from 11 middle schools participated in the program.

It was an opportunity for the students to understand what sharing economy is, a concept unfamiliar to most of them, to discover sharing ideas that can be applied to school environment and weigh up their feasibility. And the program created an expectation that the user base of sharing services could be broadened to include teenagers, parents, and teachers.

[Sharing Economy Startup School for Youth at Jamsil middle school]


For the Sharing Economy Startup School for Youth, 11 middle schools (Jamsil Middle School, Wolgok Middle School, Beondong Middle School, Singwang Girls’ Middle School, Sinhwa Middle School, Gusan Middle School, Hancheon Middle School, Hwigyeong Girls’ Middle School, Gwangjang Middle School, Guksabong Middle School, Sinsa Middle School) where free-semester system has been implemented were selected with the support of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education and a series of workshops were conducted.


Now, let’s take a peek into how well the program went in 11 schools?


[Marshmallow Challenge at Singwang Girls’ Middle School/ Paper Challenge at Hwigyeong Girls’ Middle School]


For the middle school students who gathered from each school to participate in the Sharing Economy Startup School for Youth, the workshop was started with Marshmallow Challenge or Paper Challenge.

What’s most important is, whether you are in a Marshmallow Challenge or Paper Challenge, TEAMWORK! Putting heads together to come up with a solution and to produce a result for all, rather than doing it alone, is the first step to sharing economy.

The session was followed by a lecture that includes an introduction to sharing economy and sharing companies, tailored to the teenage audience, and various examples of sharing company.



[Guksabong Middle School / Hancheon Middle School]


Now that they learned what sharing company is, they went deeper into what sharing companies are.

In the workshop titled “Understanding sharing companies,” students were asked to pick a card from a deck of sharing company cards and learned about the companies they selected.

This session provided the students with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of sharing companies by introducing the selected companies to each other while teachers explained clearly and simply to answer any questions the students had during the session.



[Wolgok Middle School / Sinsa Middle School]


The next was the most lively session of the program – “Sharing company game workshop.” The teacher arranges sharing company cards in a bingo pattern and students are divided into teams and start to fill in their bingo boards while hiding them from other teams. Once the game starts, people in the room get startled over and over by the sounds of students shouting out their team names loudly. Whenever we run a bingo session, we always realize how strong desire to win students have! But it is not just all about competition; it also offers participants an opportunity to better understand sharing companies – hitting two birds with one stone! Wait, or maybe it’s hitting three birds with one stone, since it is even a lot of fun!

The highlight of the program, however, is the workshop on creating sharing company cards. Based on what they learned during the program, participants identify issues from their school life, think about them from a sharing company’s point of view, and turn their ideas into sharing company cards of their own. Let’s check out some creative ideas suggested by middle school students!



[Creating Sharing Company Cards]


It’s very impressive how middle school students managed to identify challenges they have experienced at school and to find solutions from sharing economy. All of them are indeed excellent results of the program that demonstrate how hard the students tried to look deep into sharing companies to better understand them and tried to come up with ideas to solve issues for such a short period of time. But there is another great result of the program that has just arrived: students from Jamsil Middle School turned their sharing company idea that they developed during the program into a poster!



They came up with a sharing company called “Hanbeonman (Only once),” which rents out stationery, school supplies and any other items you may need at school, and even allocate roles between them from CEO to a new employee.


Another company called “The art of school uniform,” aimed at providing useful tips for getting school uniforms more easily and cheaply, provides an instruction on how to use the app to be developed and a guide for people who may be interested in donating their school uniforms.


Hot pack is something you would definitely need to survive the cold weather! Jamsil Middle School students came up with a sharing company called “Magma Hot Pack” that rents out hot packs. What a brilliant naming!


These teenage students who think seriously and put ideas into action allows us to believe that the future of Korea’s sharing economy is promising. Let’s look forward to witnessing the real consequences of this short but impressive Sharing Economy Startup School for Youth program 10 to 20 years later, with real sharing companies. Until then, it’s our job as adults to keep trying hard to make sure that the seeds of sharing economy planted today bear fruit in the future.


Keep it up, sharing companies at the front of sharing economy! Good luck, teenagers, for your journey to lead next sharing companies!