British Council and United Nations ESCAP Launch Landmark Indonesia Social Enterprise Landscape Study

British Council, UK’s International Organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) launched a landmark social enterprise study titled “Developing an Inclusive and Creative Economy: The State of Social Enterprise in Indonesia” that sheds the light on the significant growth, relevance and impact of social enterprise in Indonesia over the past five years. The research was commissioned by the British Council and ESCAP and conducted by Platform Usaha Sosial (PLUS) with the support of Social Enterprise UK.

In context of Indonesia, the term ‘social enterprise’ refers to any business which is primarily motivated by a social or environmental mission and reinvests a significant proportion of its profits toward this mission.

The new research provides compelling evidence that social enterprises offer an impactful inclusive and financially self-sustaining means of supporting development in Indonesia. Social enterprises contribute to community empowerment, especially of women, indigenous people, and people with disabilities, by creating employment opportunities and promoting the development of entrepreneurial skills. Such findings offer crucial evidence to policymakers, innovators, and businesses seeking to provide support for the growth of social enterprise in Indonesia.

The research shows that Indonesian social enterprises operate in a range of sectors, the first of which is the creative sector (22 per cent), and that they provide more leadership opportunities than other areas of the economy for young people and women, with 67 per cent of social enterprises led by young Indonesians aged 18-34 and 40 per cent by women.

Social enterprises in Indonesia have a higher proportion of women in their workforce (69 per cent) than micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) (57 per cent). Moreover, social enterprises are creating new employment opportunities: general full-time employment by social enterprises has grown by 42 per cent increase in 2016-17 with a 99 per cent increase in female full-time employees.

The research draws from a database of more than 2,000 organisations and was conducted between January and July 2018. The data was collected from selected organisations through interviews, surveys, and focus group discussions. The research further reports comprehensive picture of Indonesia’s social enterprise landscape that include the current and future trends, the key players as well as policy recommendations.

The launch of the research underscores the commitment of the British Council and ESCAP to promote the growth of social enterprise and impact investment across the Asia-Pacific region to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. Through their collaboration, British Council and ESCAP provide research, analysis, training, policy dialogues and offer guidance to support policy makers and other stakeholders in formulating policies and strategies that foster social enterprise and create enabling environments for impact investment.

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP said:
“Social enterprise is an opportunity for Indonesia. Indeed, there are already an estimated 340,000 social enterprises in Indonesia. This report provides a solid evidence base to inform future policies and strategies. United Nations ESCAP stands ready to support the development of social enterprise as a key means of building an inclusive and creative economy. One which can drive sustainable development in Indonesia and serve as a reference point across Asia and the Pacific.”

Paul Smith, Director of British Council Indonesia said:
“The launch of this social enterprise landscape study underscores our commitment to support the development of social enterprise in Indonesia. As one of the leading organisations promoting the development of social enterprise internationally, we collaborate with many and diverse stakeholders in over 30 countries to provide training, mentoring, and other support to 17,590 social entrepreneurs. In Indonesia, we have been very active since 2010 in providing capacity building training for Indonesian social enterprises to develop their businesses through our Active Citizens Social Enterprise Leadership trainings, Social Enterprise Trainings for NGO/CSO, Social Enterprise Challenge for Social and Creative Organizations and through our newly launched Developing and Creative Economies Program. We hope that this landscape study will equip policy makers, investors, development bodies, private sectors and other key stakeholders with crucial information that enables them to build an enhanced social enterprise ecosystem in Indonesia, including through an evidence-based policy making process.”

The full report of study is available at

Notes to Editor

About British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

We have been working in social enterprise sector since 2010, and this far we have delivered face to face trainings to 1500 social enterprises and organizations from Aceh to Papua. In addition to our work to provide capacity buildings to Social Enterprises, we have been working with universities to help develop Social Enterprise Curricula, linking Indonesia Universities with their UK universities counterparts, and we are also engaging with private sectors to implement sustainable CSR approach with Social Entrepreneurship. In systemic level, we have been engaging with policy makers and international organizations in various development, research, policy discussions to see how we can collaborate to support more social enterprises to bring stronger and wider impact to the inclusive development and contribute to the achievement of SDGs.

You can visit our website to get further information or you also can connect with us through our Twitter @idBritish and Facebook

About the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) serves as the United Nations’ regional hub promoting cooperation among countries to achieve inclusive and sustainable development. The largest regional intergovernmental platform with 53 member States and 9 associate members, ESCAP has emerged as a strong regional think-tank offering countries sound analytical products that shed insight into the evolving economic, social and environmental dynamics of the region.

The Commission’s strategic focus is to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which it does by reinforcing and deepening regional cooperation and integration to advance connectivity, financial cooperation and market integration. ESCAP’s research and analysis coupled with its policy advisory services, capacity building and technical assistance to governments aims to support countries’ sustainable and inclusive development ambitions.

For more information visit our website or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube at @unescap.

For further information, you may contact:

Afra Khumaira Irhami
Communications Manager
British Council Indonesia
Phone : +62 (0)81390006451
Email: [email protected]

Kavita Sukanandan
Public Information Officer
United Nations ESCAP
Phone: +66 2288 1869
Email: [email protected]