Twelve Social Entrepreneurs attended the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Jakarta, Indonesia, 12-13 June 2011. They represent regional and global social enterprises working in diverse fields, including but not limited to education, health, agriculture, renewable energy, financial inclusion, environmental sustainability, as well as housing and infrastructure.
A Schwab Foundation gathering was held on June 11 for the purpose of community building. We shared Forum environment best practices, and learned about each other’s work in order to more effectively network on behalf of one another and to promote social entrepreneurship as an ecosystem. Another item we touched upon included the newly created and launched Social Investment Manual, a joint effort of the Technical University of Munich and a taskforce of Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs. The manual outlines new financial mechanisms for social innovation, and how social enterprises can make themselves investment ready. While being invited to provide feedback on the manual, our community members were also encouraged to get involved in another taskforce focusing on 'base of the pyramid' (BoP) hub. This is envisioned to be a clearinghouse or a marketplace exchange for partnerships/social ventures between social enterprises and corporate to consolidate efforts and channel more targeted services and products into untapped, under-served markets. Finally, our Social Entrepreneurs engaged in a vibrant discussion on a code of ethics for social business. Many agreed on the need to maintain transparency and solid corporate governance through the scaling up process to prevent mission drift. During the last stretch of the meeting, we were then joined by a few Civil Society Leaders and media guests from NHK for a time of informal networking.
On June 12, an exclusive, off-the-record “Meet the Leader” session gave Social Entrepreneurs, Young Global Leaders, and Global Growth Companies the opportunity to meet with Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. In this intimate small group setting, the Indonesian President shared his vision on sustainable, inclusive growth in Indonesia, and how the country’s role within ASEAN is expected to evolve and expand.
In summary, Social Entrepreneurs concluded the meeting on East Asia with many useful (and sometimes serendipitous!) contacts – both through each other and with other members of the Forum community. For more than half of them, this was their first World Economic Forum summit, and certainly, given the potential partnerships to develop – not their last!