Get to Know About Social Entrepreneurship with Brian Karno Jan

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We all know that to create a good business, we have to bring solutions to people’s problems. But have you ever wondered about social entrepreneurship? As we can see from what we call it, the main difference between entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs is the social impact that they make. A social entrepreneur is interested in starting a business for the greater social impact and not just pursuing the profits. 

In Act Global, we see it is important for young people to find opportunities in the problem that people are facing. But on the other hand, we also see young people as agents of change who will create an impact on society. With this reason on Saturday 19th of November 2022 we held our webinar with Brian Karno Jan, CEO of Mendekor. 

Mendekor is a social business that is engaged in the home decor industry. The CEO of Mendekor, Brian explained to us the idea when he started his business because he was working in the interior design company and he found it was hard to find decorations for his clients. Sometimes they need to find decorations in some places, and it takes a lot of time especially in Jakarta where the traffic is often jamming. So he decided to create this business.

Not only creating solutions for customers with his business, Brian also helps the suppliers that collaborated with him as most of the craftsmen in Indonesia live under the standard of living. He has more than 30 suppliers from 9 cities. Especially during COVID-19 pandemic, the craftsmen’s order was reduced by 40-50% and Mendekor helped to reduce their unemployment around and since collaborating with Mendekor their income also increased.

The social impacts that Mendekor has done not only helped craftsmen to sustain, but also they have built 1 children library in Sumba with a community of more than 200 children, planted 300+ mangroves trees in Jakarta, and conducted online workshops about MSMEs, women, and aspire social entrepreneurs with more than 200 participants.  

After explaining the background of his business and the social impacts that he has made, Brian then continues deeper that socio enterprises are the combination between traditional charity and traditional business. Brian then explain other traits of socio enterprise as follows:

  1. SE activities seek to achieve social and/or environmental impact through the trading of goods and/or services. 
  2. SE is not tied to a general spectrum, not just purely profit or non profit. It is the middle, therefore it is also known as hybrid organization.
  3. Entrepreneurs, especially the young ones are starting to think beyond making profit, but also find solutions to social/environmental problems. 

According to Brian, Indonesia also needs more social entrepreneurs because 3 of Indonesian cities are in the list of 10 world’s worst environmentally friendly cities, 22.75 million Indonesian people are poor, trust in Indonesian government, NGO, and media has decreased. However, SEs support the national objectives of educating the nation and improving public welfare long before the country’s independence. Indonesia also ranks ninth as the best countries to be social entrepreneurs in 2019 with relatively high scores in “gaining momentum” and “making a living category” which can be a great opportunity for us to start our socio enterprises journey!


Written by: Nevy Pangestika

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