Determination against all odds? A story from Waste4Change

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Learning outcomes: This case aims to help students achieve the following learning objectives: ■ to apply the Emergence of Social Enterprise in Europe (Emergence des Enterprises Sociales en Europe – EMES) Network definitional framework to the case, and in doing so, have a useful framework to define social enterprises in emerging markets; ■ to identify the factors that can play important role in making strategic decisions in social enterprises; ■ to evaluate the sustainability of a social enterprise; and ■ to address the unique funding and financial challenges faced by social enterprises. Case overview/synopsis: This case study discusses the dilemmas related to business expansion faced by Waste4Change (W4C), a waste management organization based in Bekasi, Jakarta, Indonesia. W4C was founded in 2014 by a group of young men who shared the idealism of changing the world by doing the right things. This principally involved protecting the environment and educating communities while maintaining economic profitability. However, idealism can sometimes create dilemmas within decision-making as an organization attempts to prevent market logic from dictating its direction. This case examines two different types of decision: the problem of securing a waste management contract when a permit had not been granted by the local government; and the problem of selecting the appropriate funding sources to enable the organization to grow. The first decision occurred in the context of a dilemma in 2017 when W4C expanded their waste management services to several regions in Indonesia but without having succeeded in securing a permit from the local government to provide such services. Attempts to provide such services without a formal legal permit would have been considered a violation of the law, even though the clients needed them (be it residents or companies) and the nature of the service in question had a positive connotation (i.e. maintaining the cleanliness of the city through waste management).The second decision concerned W4C’s plan to go public around 10 years from now. The CEO, Mohamad Bijaksana Junerosano, also known as Sano, has been considering this option since 2020 in a bid to grow the social enterprise. W4C differed from other startups; however, in the sense that while many startups will approach a plan to go public as an exit strategy, Sano wanted to preserve the idealism that had been a cornerstone of the enterprise since its inception. In other words, for W4C, going public was not just a means to an end. Complexity academic level: Undergraduate as well as graduate courses that focus on sustainability, accounting, financing and strategy. Supplementary materials: Teaching notes are available for educators only. Subject code: CSS 1: Accounting and Finance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalEmerald Emerging Markets Case Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Environmental education
  • Financial investment
  • Social enterprise


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