UNDP Partnership with Canada Aims to Grow Social EnterprisesMar 17, 2017
JAKARTA – The Government of Canada and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia agreed to strengthen the role of social finance in funding development actions in Indonesia. In partnership with women led social enterprises, this will contribute to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The Government of Canada will provide funding to the Social Finance to Enhance Poverty Alleviation and Gender Equality project, to be implemented by UNDP. The project includes the development of a public private blended finance mechanism, the establishment of a platform to link up social financiers and social enterprises, and in-depth studies on the potential of social finance to support women led/owned enterprises.
“Social finance and social enterprises represent great opportunities for empowering the poorest and most marginalized, especially women, in areas where markets and access to finance are very limited. Canada is delighted to be supporting this project that will spur more innovative ways of achieving the SDGs and reduce poverty in Indonesia,” Canadian Ambassador Peter MacArthur said.
“The overarching goal of this project is to draw more investment into social enterprises because UNDP’s experience in development tells us that when people are empowered through such enterprises, the impact on their quality of life is greater and more sustainable,” UNDP Indonesia Country Director Christophe Bahuet said.
Indonesia is the fifth largest economy in Asia and one of the world’s best performing emerging markets, with 5.02 percent growth in 2016. However, economic progress has not led to a reduction in economic inequality. Distributing resources to the poor and disadvantaged, especially women, continues to be a challenge.
In this context, social finance is an emerging force bringing investment to social enterprises—businesses that aim to create social and environmental impacts while making a profit. A 2015 study by Boston Consulting Group identified more than 450 social enterprises in Indonesia, with some 1,400 aspiring to become social enterprises, majority of which are owned by women. Since women face additional legal barriers in accessing finance, the project will also seek to address their specific barriers to growth.
The project is based in Jakarta, and will work in partnership with several social finance partners.