Tell us about your partnerships
Our main partnership is with Korea Easy Loan (KEL), a government-initiated loan broker. There are a myriad of loan brokers in Korea who earn their keep by snaring clients through flowery advertisements and referring them to loan sharks. In order to reverse this, the govt initiated KEL, who only refer clients to responsible lenders. As such, many of KEL's referrals come to Hopemakers, and most of Hopemakers' business (90%) comes from KEL.
Another significant partner is Podo Financial Planning, another company headed up by CEO Ra. Many of Hopemakers' best counsellors have come from Podo.
Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your innovation? If so, where and why?
At present, our reach is limited to the Seoul Metropolitan Area. Because of the intensity and frequency of the counselling sessions, the clients need to be where our counsellors are based.
Inside 10 years we hope to expand to the regions around the 5 major cities of Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Ulsan and Gwangju. We have no plans to expand overseas as yet.
Nor do we have plans to expand our client base beyond income-earners under 40. It is important that we focus on our core strengths, and not spread ourselves too thin so that we can have the greatest impact.
What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?
Founder Ra's experience with Podo FP taught him the mechanics of client counselling along with the importance of upholding the dignity of his clients while helping them. He personally engages in the training of his counsellors to pass on his passion to them.
Recently, Mr Kim Hee-cheol took over the post of CEO. CEO Kim has over 30 years in retail banking, and has experience in financial product devmt, marketing, compilation of best-practice manuals and training. He spent many years in private banking where he cultivated the idea of private banking for the excluded. He is a founding shareholder of Hopemakers, and his experience will underpin the the coming expansion of the company. His contacts in the financial community are a huge asset, particularly in hiring retired professionals.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list