Ph.D. Student with Passion for Entrepreneurship Investigates South Korean Policies
It is a privilege to study what you want to pursue and have the opportunity to learn from the world-class entrepreneurship scholars, "says Lee, who plans to continue a research focus on government policies that impact entrepreneurship.
Sanggeun Lee ’24 Ph.D. is fascinated by entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial passion that motivates individuals to pursue new ventures. As a graduate student in strategic management at Yonsei University in his native South Korea, Lee studied the connection between performance feedback and entrepreneurial passion. “I looked at obsessive passion — an emotion you can’t control because of external factors such as fame, money or reputation — and whether that increased or decreased based on a business’ performance,” he says.
Now, as a doctoral student in entrepreneurship at the Whitman School, Lee has turned his attention to entrepreneurship policy. His doctoral research focuses on the impact of subsidies and low-interest loans initiated in South Korea to spur entrepreneurism among young people.
“In South Korea, a lot of young people of my generation are really into entrepreneurship. They want to start their own ventures,” he says.
Using census data from the South Korean government, Lee plans to examine how the country’s policies — such as these subsidies — impact personal decision making about employment and whether one is self-employed or not. “I’ll be looking at trends over time to see whether these policies impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he says.
His goal, ultimately, is to help inform future policy that would benefit the most people, not just those in their 20s, providing more equal opportunities and also helping people be successful in those ventures.
Lee was inspired to pursue a Ph.D. by his older brother, Younggeun Lee, who is an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at California State University, Los Angeles. He chose the Whitman School because of its reputation as a top school for entrepreneurship. He hasn’t been disappointed, praising the mentorship of his advisor, David Park, assistant professor of entrepreneurship, and the climate and support for international students at Syracuse University. He plans on pursuing a career in academia and would love to join the faculty at a major research university such as Syracuse.
“It is a privilege to study what you want to pursue and have the opportunity to learn from the world-class entrepreneurship scholars,” says Lee, who plans to continue a research focus on government policies that impact entrepreneurship.
In his spare time, Lee enjoys visiting art galleries and museums, something he finds a stress reliever. “Both of my parents are artists, so I’ve been influenced a lot by art culture,” he says.
He and his brother began collecting contemporary art and hope to open their own gallery in the future. “That’s my entrepreneurial dream,” he says.