Entrepreneurial Competencies and Success of SMEs in Changwon, South Korea


  • Lee Dae-jung Mubarik Sejong University
  • Baek Ki-poong Iskamto Sejong University
  • Kim Nak-jun Sakib Sejong University




Entrepreneurial competencies play a crucial role in the success of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Competency encompass a range of skills, knowledge, and personal attributes that enable entrepreneurs to identify opportunities, make effective decisions, and lead their businesses. SMEs with strong entrepreneurial competencies are more likely to innovate, adapt to market changes, and achieve sustainable growth. By exhibiting competencies such as opportunity recognition, strategic thinking, and effective leadership, SME owners can navigate challenges, capitalize on market trends, and create competitive advantages. The presence of entrepreneurial competencies among SME owners contributes to their overall success and the positive impact they can make on local economies. The research identified several essential entrepreneurial competencies exhibited by SME owners in Changwon, they included strong opportunity recognition skills, effective decision-making abilities, and impactful leadership qualities. The provision of resources and initiatives, such as affordable facilities, mentoring, and networking opportunities, contributed to the growth and sustainability of SMEs.  The study concluded that the entrepreneurial competencies and success of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Changwon, South Korea, are vital for the city's economic growth and development. Business incubators, co-working spaces, and mentoring programs provide SMEs with the necessary infrastructure and guidance. Even if SMEs enjoy several advantages, they also face challenges such as access to financing, market competition, regulatory hurdles, and talent retention. It was recommended that to collaborate with educational institutions and industry experts to develop comprehensive entrepreneurship education programs tailored to the needs of SME owners. Establish partnerships between financial institutions and government agencies to create specialized loan programs and venture capital funds targeted at SMEs. Provide financial education and mentorship to help SME owners improve their financial management skills and enhance their chances of securing funding.

Keywords: Entrepreneurial Competencies, Success, SMEs, South Korea

Author Biographies

Lee Dae-jung Mubarik, Sejong University

Sejong University

Baek Ki-poong Iskamto , Sejong University

Sejong University

Kim Nak-jun Sakib, Sejong University

Sejong University


Aftab, J., Veneziani, M., Sarwar, H., & Ishaq, M. I. (2022). Entrepreneurial orientation, entrepreneurial competencies, innovation, and performances in SMEs of Pakistan: Moderating role of social ties. Business Ethics, the Environment & Responsibility, 31(2), 419-437. https://doi.org/10.1111/beer.12415

Aidara, S., Md Nasir, N. A., Al Mamun, A., & Che Nawi, N. (2021, November). Factors Affecting Socioeconomic Performance of Informal Micro and Small Enterprises in Senegal. In International Conference on Business and Technology (pp. 627-648). Cham: Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-08087-6_45

Baek, Y., Jung, C., & Joo, H. (2021). Residents’ Perception of a Collaborative Approach with Artists in Culture-Led Urban Regeneration: A Case Study of the Changdong Art Village in Changwon City in Korea. Sustainability, 13(15), 8320. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158320

Cho, S. E., & Cho, J. (2020). Software Firm's Knowledge Exchange Activities and Performances in Industry Clusters: Focus On Startups and Small and Medium Enterprises. International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 24(5), 1-15.

Font-Cot, F., Lara-Navarra, P., & Serradell-Lopez, E. (2023). Digital transformation policies to develop an effective startup ecosystem: the case of Barcelona. Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy. https://doi.org/10.1108/TG-01-2023-0006

Han, J., & Heshmati, A. (2021). Innovation and SMEs patent propensity in Korea. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 42(1-2), 51-68. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJESB.2021.112261

Hassannezhad Chavoushi, Z., Mo, G. Y., & Cukier, W. (2021). Social Finance for Women’s Entrepreneurship in Canada. Innovations in Social Finance: Transitioning Beyond Economic Value, 69-96. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-72535-8_4

Iskamto, D., & Ghazali, P. L. (2021). Framework of Mediating Role of MSEs Performance On The Relationship Between Entrepreneur Environment and Entrepreneur Satisfaction. The Journal of Management Theory and Practice (JMTP), 71-73. https://doi.org/10.37231/jmtp.2021.2.2.118

Khanam, T., & Sakib, M. N. (2020). A conceptual research model for studying the relationship between entrepreneurial competences and the performances of small and medium size enterprises in Bangladesh. Jahangirnagar Univ. J. Manag. Res, 3, 75-88.

Mubarik, M. S., Devadason, E. S., & Govindaraju, C. (2020). Human capital and export performance of small and medium enterprises in Turkey. International Journal of Social Economics, 47(5), 643-662. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-03-2019-0198

Oh, S., & Storage, H. L. D. (2022). The Effect of Social Entrepreneurship Components on Sustainability. International Journal of Entrepreneurship, 26(3), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-18533-5_1

Park, W., & Byun, C. G. (2022). Effect of Managerial Compensation and Ability on the Relationship between Business Strategy and Firm Value: For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Sustainability, 14(8), 4689. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084689

Purwati, A., Budiyanto, B., Suhermin, S., & Hamzah, M. (2021). The effect of innovation capability on business performance: The role of social capital and entrepreneurial leadership on SMEs in Japan. Accounting, 7(2), 323-330. https://doi.org/10.5267/j.ac.2020.11.021

Rhee, M. U. N. S. U. N. G., & Stephens, A. R. (2020). Innovation-orientated technology assimilation strategy and Korean SMES’enhancing innovation capability, competitive advantage and firm performance. International Journal of Innovation Management, 24(06), 2050081. https://doi.org/10.1142/S1363919620500814

Srimulyani, V. A., & Hermanto, Y. B. (2022). Impact of entrepreneurial self-efficacy and entrepreneurial motivation on micro and small business success for food and beverage sector in east Java, Indonesia. Economies, 10(1), 10. https://doi.org/10.3390/economies10010010

Wong, C. Y. (2022). Driving Inclusive Growth in (Post) Industrial Catch-Up Era of Korean Economy. In Experimental Learning, Inclusive Growth and Industrialized Economies in Asia: Lessons from South Korea and Taiwan (pp. 41-76). Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-3436-0_3

Xiang, D., Zhao, T., & Zhang, N. (2021). Does public subsidy promote sustainable innovation? The case of Chinese high-tech SMEs. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 28(38), 53493-53506. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-14555-5

Zeng, D. Z. (2021). The past, present, and future of special economic zones and their impact. Journal of International Economic Law, 24(2), 259-275. https://doi.org/10.1093/jiel/jgab014




How to Cite

Mubarik, L. D.- jung, Iskamto , B. K.- poong, & Sakib, K. N.- jun. (2023). Entrepreneurial Competencies and Success of SMEs in Changwon, South Korea. Journal of Entrepreneurship & Project Management, 7(8), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.53819/81018102t5206