The Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Digital Era in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

The role of digital in business world is becoming more significant. In the 2016 World Development Report, the World Bank stated that almost 40% of the world population had had access to the internet. Furthermore, even poor families are more likely to have access to mobile phones and internet than to toilets or clean water therefore advancement in information and rapid technological change should advance the world to be more inclusive and prosperous. To achieve this goal, improving business climate, education and health, and promoting good governance should be prioritized. The impact of advancement in IT not only increases economic transaction but also influence participation of women in the labor force, communication for disabled people and cooperation in overcoming environmental problems. These will enable us to achieve the SDGs targets.

Another report in 2017 issued by the World Economic forum stressed out that countries that are globally competitive usually are moving toward innovation and sophistication factors. Of the pillar of innovation and sophistication factors is technological readiness which weights information and communication technologies (ICTs) in daily life and production processes to increase efficiency and enabling innovation for competitiveness. There is a positive relationship between innovation and economic growth and income per capita. Unfortunately, the economic growth has not always been a desirable aim of development.

The growth of economy is not always balanced with equal distribution of income and wealth. The World Bank on the 2016 annual meeting explained that since 2008, there had globally been a trend of increase in the income gap.  Meanwhile, a report by OECD in 2014 mentioned that the rise in income inequality would cause a significant decrease of per capita income. Therefore, we need a breakthrough in the effort to reach two important goals which are economic growth and minimization of income inequality, and one of the approaches to do it is social entrepreneurship.

Santos (2009) has stated that social entrepreneurship was initially started in developing countries. However, non-commercial entrepreneurship is also evolving in developed countries. Despite various definitions of social entrepreneurship, everything has the same core meaning which is an effort to solve social problems and alleviate poverty by using entrepreneurship approach to create social and innovation value. Globally, there have been several practices or development processes of social entrepreneurship while regionally, these are implemented in the hope of realizing economic integration among members of ASEAN (the Asia Foundation, 2015).

Social entrepreneurship usually focuses on poor citizens in both urban and rural areas. In urban areas, it is emphasized on the effort of health improvement (Leeuw: 1999), garbage organization (Wijayanti and Syryani; 2015 and Singhirunnusorn et al: 2012), youth and education (Jacobi: 2006). Meanwhile, in rural areas, social entrepreneurship already has the capability to create jobs, empower communities, develop value chain on the sector of agriculture (Raikundalia, 2017; Ellis et al., 2012; Tetzschner and Herlau: 2003), develop the sector of tourism (Cho: 2006 and Zhao et al.: 2011), manage forests (Shahidullah and Haque: 2016) and manage coastal environment and fisheries (Ruwindrijarto: 2002).

Based on this variety of social entrepreneurship sectors and activities, this conference is organized to generate knowledge in both model and practice, along with best experience in developing social entrepreneurship that is capable of utilizing information and technology in its work to solve economic, social and environmental problems, and thus it can support the effort of achieving SDGs targets in both Indonesia and ASEAN.