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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Multi-stakeholder collaboration is key to scale up the impacts of Social Enterprises in ASEAN

Jakarta (31/10) – The current situation in Indonesia for social enterprises is much favorable than six years ago to scale up their impacts. This is according to a panel discussion at the ASEAN Conference on Social Entrepreneurship: Project Showcase at Bidakara Hotel. Shana Fatina, the CEO of Tinamitra Mandiri, shared her six-year-journey in nurturing their social business “Tinamitra Mandiri” at this event organised on Wednesday (26/10) by UnLtd Indonesia and the ASEAN Foundation.

“I remember the first reaction from my first investor when I asked their support was ‘to show me the money.’ The government at that time was also not open to this new concept of doing businesses. But the situation has changed. There are rooms for discussions and negotiations. Now, the opportunities for partnership and garnering support are enormous. We can talk in terms of values, not only the money or the bureaucracy, but it took six years,” she exclaimed at the panel discussion on “Scaling up Impact through Public-Private-People Partnerships” as part of the activities of the conference.

The discussion moderated by Kaitlin Shiilling from Platforum Usaha Sosial (PLUS) also included Teguh Sambodo, Director of the Directorate of Industry, Tourism, and Creative Economy Ministry of National Development Planning (Bapennas) representing the government. From the private sector’s perspective, Eugene Ho, Head of Corporate Affairs, SAP Southeast Asia shared some of the company’s CSR initiatives related to social entrepreneurship.

Teguh Sambodo highlighted that the role of social enterprises in helping the government address social problems could not be undermined. The examples of how social enterprises could provide benefits for the community were not many and these have started to get recognition from the government.

“We are open to discuss about partnership with the social enterprises. In Indonesia for instance, currently the parliament has initiated a new entrepreneurship law. And in this law, there is a special section about social enterprise. We are trying to have similar standard on how we can facilitate entrepreneurship development including social enterprise. How we do it is to collect some norms, standards, criteria, and procedures on how we can facilitate entrepreneurship development in Indonesia including social enterprises,” he added.

Meanwhile from the private sector’s perspective, Eugene underscored his recipe in fostering an impactful public-private-people partnership, what he called as “DATES.” He emphasised that collaboration between government institutions, NGOs, multilateral agencies, and civil society was indispensable to contributing to achieving sustainable development.

“In establishing public private people partnership, I believe we should go on DATES. D is to digitize engagement and transactions. A is for action. We need to do real action, don’t just hope. T is to transform. We need to transform the old way of thinking. E is to engage with various stakeholders. S is to scale up and export successful Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) projects,” he said.

The discussion was aimed to provide more insights for the participating Social Entrepreneurs (SE) from ASEAN countries who had previously showcased their regional collaboration projects resulting from the previous ASEAN SE Conference held last July in Singapore. There were three projects presented from three different sectors; food and agriculture, culture and tourism, and health and disability.

In food and agriculture sector, the project called “Agrigator” creates an online platform that provides information regarding food producers in Southeast Asia. It aims to help connect the buyers and investors. Meanwhile in culture and tourism sector, they developed a project called “Map for Good”, a service that is provided for travelers to help them track down different social enterprises in all ASEAN countries. Finally, in health and disability sector, a project called “TripAbility ” was showcased. TripAbility is designed to provide information on accessible tourism destinations and facilities that are disabled-friendly.

A project group discussion was held to wrap up the event. All participating SEs gathered in their own group to discuss further about their prototype and their plan to fine-tune it and explore future partnership opportunities. For Agrigator, the team planned to discuss further about their budget projection and find potential investors. Map for Good planned to have their content and website ready by mid-November and create social media campaigns as well as build mobile application to improve their visibility.