Working for positive change

Choson Exchange supports entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals in North Korea through workshops, internships, mentorships and scholarships inside and outside of the DPRK. Many of our trainings on business, law, economic policy, and related fields are hosted by professionals who volunteer their time and expertise. We believe that entrepreneurship provides a viable path towards positive change and a healthy civil society in North Korea, as well as a unique opportunity for foreign experts to learn more about a country that remains widely unknown. 

We also help policymakers, researchers and international media understand North Korea’s business and economic environment through on-the-ground research. We combine non-confidential discussions, interviews with sector leaders, and frequent visits to give us deeper insights into the country.


Our WIB program supports leading female managers and entrepreneurs with business skills training, helping talented participants to set-up or grow their business.


With our PDP program, we support regional development by training officials, researchers, and policymakers from the provinces who are focusing on Special Economic Zones.


Our YEN program encourages entrepreneurship through foreign exchanges that nurture a local ecosystem for small business growth in the DPRK.

Since 2010, we have worked with hundreds of foreign professionals who have trained thousands of North Koreans. Many local alumni have gone on to set up new businesses or changed the way existing companies are run. 

North Koreans trained by Choson Exchange since launch

They have launched retail stores, started restaurants, founded cafes, or improved the marketing and production of existing products. For some participants, joining our workshops has created new career opportunities, with additional sources of income that helps them care for their families.

Over the past few years, we have been successfully scaling our programs in the DPRK to almost 100 participants per program, directly reaching more than 500 North Koreans every year through in-country programs alone. Scaling our overseas programs remains difficult, but interest in additional programs outside of the DPRK remains strong. Thanks to growing support from Choson Exchange volunteers around the world, we hope to continue organizing overseas programs for the most talented North Koreans -- an amazing experience for everyone involved.

To maximize the impact of our programs, Choson Exchange reaches out to a wide range of institutions and individuals both in Pyongyang and across the country. Conversations with participants and extensive systematic feedback shows that our programs draw a variety of business-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Diverse group of koreans in programs


Real impact through usable results






business plans