Social Entrepreneurship in Indonesia: Lessons from the Past

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26 Citations (Scopus)


The study examined, through a balanced review of western and post-colonial literatures, the development of social entrepreneurship in Indonesia prior to its independence in 1945. Findings suggest that policies imposed by the Dutch government had a considerable influence on the growth of social movement organisations in the former colony. Furthermore, these organisations had used social entrepreneurship strategies to achieve the mission of empowering native communities and mobilising them towards independence. Other factors which contributed to the growth of social entrepreneurship in the era were the influence of Islam and Javanese aristocratic leadership. Taken in the context of Indonesia's post-colonial socio-economic environment, these findings suggest that its current social entrepreneurship growth is likely to depend on three main factors: perceived degree of economic empowerment by indigenous groups as a result of social entrepreneurship, Islamic identity of social enterprises and social activism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-301
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Social Entrepreneurship
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Colonial policies
  • Indonesia
  • Islam
  • empowerment
  • social movement


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