G’day, my name is Tom and I am an Australian university student

26 October in Insights by webadmin  

🟢 Tom featured on the right!
This semester I have been undertaking a social research project as part of my final core subject within my degree. This unit has been run through PACE at Macquarie University and has seen me, alongside a fellow Social Science student, Leroy, be partnered with Ubud Cycling Bike (UCB). Our project has taken many twists and turns, starting with the major factor in everyone’s lives – Coronavirus. UCB and the industry it works in has been no exception to the negative effects of this pandemic. 

Social Entrepreneurship (SE) is a cross between a for-profit business model and the social focus of a charity. A Social Entrepreneur runs a business with the aim of making money so that it can be reinvested back into the community around it. Usually, within SE, the business makes good use of the local community around it in running the business. UCB does this by employing youth from the community to run guided tours. UCB then reinvests the funds it makes back into the community, with current targets being refurbishing the toilets at the local primary school, SdEnam Manukaya, as well as health courses on topics such as menstruation. Due to the current crisis, UCB’s main source of income has taken away, meaning that to continue these projects, other sources of income need to be found. On top of that, UCB wants to target new forms of improvement within a circular economy style. 

As it stands in Indonesia, Social Entrepreneurship is not a legally recognised form of a business venture and it is not taught within business courses in universities. Businesses wishing to form a SE style venture currently either need to register under the form of cooperative, which is regulated with a different idea in mind or not register and miss out on the benefits that registering comes with, such as access to funding or legal aid/status. 

UCB has recognised the lack of knowledge and awareness of SE in Indonesia and, through it’s newly formed UCB Education program, aims to tackle this problem whilst also creating the partnerships that will help them access the funding/help required to continue their support of the local community. The first part of our current project involved us making connections with Indonesian Universities, such as Islam University in Bandung and Udayana University. From here we were able to start our steps towards our long term goal of creating a course for 2nd-year students to learn about Social Entrepreneurship. The first step of this goal requires creating awareness of Social Entrepreneurship in South East Asian countries. We are doing this currently through a promotion that asks university students to create their own Social Entrepreneurship. Initially, students are asked to create a poster and write 250-300 words describing their idea, as well as a TikTok video defining ‘why’ they care. Once all submissions are in (by Nov 2) a panel of judges will determine which ideas will make it through to the next round, where 10 teams will be asked to join a global conference to explain in greater detail their concept. The purpose of this competition is not just to create awareness, but also give some young entrepreneurs the tools to go off and actually create their idea, which is where the prizes come into play. 

The TikTok part of the competition is not just open to the contestants, and the hope is that all different sorts of people can come in and tell us why they care about social, cultural, environmental and economic issues. We believe that this can get people to start thinking like Social Entrepreneurs, not just looking at the problems but also understanding why they matter and then thinking about potential solutions. To help push this, UCB is offering a $15 voucher for one of their eco-cycling tours for anyone who enters the TikTok part of the competition. Don’t worry, there is no expiry date, so you will be able to use it anytime, especially after Covid. The voucher also comes with the option of reinvesting the $15 back into the community, so if biking isn’t for you or you would rather pay full price you’ll be helping a very worthwhile cause. 

My time at UCB so far has been amazing, it’s been lots of fun working here, as well as rewarding. Social Entrepreneurship is not something I knew much about beforehand, but now my eyes have been opened to the potential created by this business model for all sorts of incredibly important and necessary change, that’s not just for the community but also by the community. Social Entrepreneurship not only has the freedom to implement the change it wants but also the access to the knowledge required to make the change that is needed.