Gingko House is a catering service enterprise with organic ingredients and social objectives, trying to generate welfare for older persons by engaging in business. In 2005, “Everbright Concern Action”, a charitable organization founded by a group of social workers, opened the first "Gingko House" restaurant. The restaurant is run by older persons within the organization's social service center in the Wong Tai Sin District. The purpose is to provide a suitable working environment and employment opportunity for older persons who wish to work, stay active and re-gain self-confidence.
The Center introduces regular or temporary jobs (e.g. property management, teaching, house helpers, etc) suitable for the elderly (the "silver" generation") who are able and would like to work, according to each person's interests and skills.
The Ogawanosho company was created in 1986, and more than half of its 90 employees are 60 years or older. Faced with population ageing in this rural community, the original aim was to promote viable employment for the older persons in the community. They sell fresh vegetables, food products, and other manufactured goods. The success of the company showed what the work of the elderly, especially older women, can do for their community.
As part of the elderly employment promotion project by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the restaurant is run by a group of older women, or "halmae" (granny), from the Busan Seo-gu Senior Club. They serve food (e.g. snack food, instant noodles, fried rice, etc) at a cost lower than other restaurants, and all the profits will be used to promote elderly employment.
The senior franchise café "Thinkgrove" was started in 2011 and is run by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, the Korea Labor Force Development Institute for the Aged, and the Gangnam-gu Office in Seoul. Unlike other elderly employment projects, the goal is to generate enough profits so the café will be independent from government funding. It is the first public enterprise for older persons jointly funded by the Ministry of Health, the Gangnam District Office and private companies to promote elderly employment through expansion of its branches.
Namyangju Senior Club launched "Nanuri", an elderly baking business. A group of 8 older persons bake and sell cookies and other food items with support from the Gyeonggi-do provincial government.
Private parcel companies hire older persons to deliver small to mid-size parcels and documents, by using subway. Since older persons aged 65 and over can use public transportation for free, this has emerged as a new way to promote elderly employment.
Busan city government announced a plan in 2013 to hire 450 older persons as parcel delivery workers. The parcels are usually delivered to the entrance of the apartment building only, but older persons deliver them to the door of each household. The payment will be calculated by the number of package delivered and it is funded by private parcel delivery companies.
Small-size restaurants and the traditional rice cake stores were founded and managed by older persons from a local Senior Club. The profit may be marginal, but older persons take great pleasure in being able to work and participate in social activities. Minimum wage is provided through the funding from the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
When the Gwangyang City Government called for "local enterprise" projects by older persons, a group of 8 older persons launched a traditional food store. The enterprise sold handmade food products, including traditional seasoning such as sesame oil and bean paste, which were shipped nationwide.