ENTREPRENEUR CULTIVATES UNDERPRIVILEGED IN DINING BIZ
By Kim Bo-eun
In Seoul's quaint neighborhood of Bukchon is a Spanish fine dining restaurant frequented by business tycoons and politicians.
The restaurant Terreno is among Oyori Asia CEO Lee Ji-hye's businesses to help disadvantaged women out of poverty.
"Our mission is to help underprivileged women in Asia become financially independent by learning to work in the dining business," Lee, 43, said in a recent interview with The Korea Times.
"The dining business has relatively low entry barriers as it does not require advanced skills and can provide job stability for the underprivileged."
Oyori Asia also runs Seoul Women's Plaza, a facility for events under a consignment operation.
It offers training opportunities for migrant women, teenagers in orphanages and youth who have dropped out of school. Oyori Asia hires those who have completed long-term training programs.
All 43 of its employees are regular workers.
Among those who worked and learned at Oyori Asia is a Vietnamese immigrant in her 30s who became a co-founder of Asian Bowl, a restaurant in Jangseungbaegi, southwestern Seoul. With the help of a community for migrant single moms, the restaurant opened last November. Other migrant women also work there.
"The restaurant makes good pho and business is doing well," Lee said.
Oyori Asia also runs two franchises overseas _ Cafe Mitini in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Oyori the Grill, a restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
A second Cafe Mitini will open in Kathmandu soon, run by a young Nepalese woman who received training as a barista for four years.
Terreno is funding the opening, and the coffee shop will pay the restaurant back the funds, which will then be invested in opening a third shop.
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[출처] Korea Times - Biz & Tech