"Capitalism cannot be attacked with a slogan, it must be combated with an organization. The organization form is a cooperative "(Mohammad Hatta).
When the Republic of Indonesia reached its independence, one of commitments of the country’s founding fathers is how to rotate the community economy wheel. Indonesia can realize its total independence if community economy is strong. That matter can be found from works and ideas of Mr. Hatta who put the community economy as the Indonesian economic foundation. The future to become independent nation creates awareness to become an independent nation and struggle in accordance with self capacity.
With appearance of developmental concept (1969) which put capital accumulation as important determinant caused halting community economy discourse. And then, the new order government issued regulations which are beneficial for industrialization and conglomeration. Foreign debt is not possible to give support to economic wheel due to lower domestic saving. State management is getting farther from self-reliance spirit and capability to stand alone.
Industrialization and modernization other than creating enhancement also resulted marginalization process. Labors, farmers and fishermen, become marginalized professions, despite it has very huge quantity, its additional value is very small compared to industrial sector. The economists believe that there will be structural transformation, that is when contribution of traditional sector (agrarian) is smaller and replaced by contribution of industrial sector which is from time to time is increasing. In fact the transformation is not apparent. The role of agrarian sector decreased because the villagers have no choice to survive other than to sell small sized land they have and become labor in the city. Labor class condition is not advantaged. The term of cheap labor and unskilled labor caused their position only considered as supplement to industrialization wheel.
Rising of susceptible and marginalized people due to the development policy which is detrimental to them become good opportunity of growing NGOs with various types and agenda. Eldrege (1988) divided NGO into some ideological categories: welfare, development, advocacy, transformation, etc. Strong domination of new order caused part of NGOs consider that it is necessary to take gap and reject to collaborate with the government/state agenda. The existence of NGOs is considered as hegemonies counter against position of the state which is so strong and entering through each line of community life (Mansour Fakih, 1996). Therefore, some LSM (Community Self-Reliance Agency) preferred to use ORNOP (Non government organization) term, Not only translation of NGO, but the more important thing is to explain position which is different from the state.
Meanwhile, for the remaining LSMs, structural injustice matters is not enough by pressurizing against authorities or consider the state as enemy because it becomes exploitative means. Structural problem must be responded with actual community organization, provide education for society and support their social capital through collective enterprise in order that community economy units can grow up. Therefore, development of self-reliance and continuous community livelihood become important focus.
In reformation and democratization era, position of LSM is more important to recover community social capital which is damaged due to multidimensional crisis. On the other side, decreasing of the government role in public service sector resulted worst life quality and people welfare. Therefore, public sector issues (health, education, etc) become main programs of LSM. It is estimated that there are over 13.500 LSM (Home Affairs Department, 2002).
Appearance of project opportunities which can be obtained by LSM become a new challenge how LSM maintains its independent character and not being trapped only to get funds for survive. The reflective question should be given is how significant is contribution of thousand projects carried out by LSM toward social change in Indonesia.
In this openness and democratization era, it is improper to classify LSM paradigm, either welfare or advocacy. Rising local initiatives shows that the gross root works should integrate advocacy and community livelihood development perspective. An interesting experience is what has been done by PUSDAKOTA (Centre for Urban Community Development) in Surabaya. An agency which is under authority of the University of Surabaya has unique experience. This agency was established in 2000 with awareness toward environmental issues and urban poor people, PUSDAKOTA carried out educational and advocacy activities for slum society, until finally created household waste management.
Currently, PUSDAKOTA has been successfully marketing Takakura garbage basket with turnover by average of 1.000 garbage basket per month, with unit price of Rp 75 thousand. This production process absorbed 140 workers which majority are physical defect poor people. Aside from developing independent business unit, PUSDAKOTA seriously involved in dialogs of policy and become reference both for government authorities and businessman.
Other experiences can be found in the field such as Self Help Groups (SHGs) of small traders faced with demolishing or high kiosk rental, thus assistance work cannot be separated from advocacy issues toward their existence. Or Women SHGs which is until advocacy awareness toward women role as the family’s economic back bone. Those matters cannot be categorized which one is advocacy, development or welfare. Those problems appeared simultaneously in the field and finally “innovation" becomes key word toward the overall.
Innovation and unique solution is soul movement when poverty and weakness hit community life. An interesting story written by Prof. Prahallad (The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, 2004), concerning Jaipur Foot. In India there are 5,5 million amputated persons and the figure increased approximately 25 thousands per year. Majority they are poor persons and unable to pay medical services.
When Prosthesis (artificial organs) is so difficult and expensive, Jaipur Foot found a technology which is suitable for poor persons life style. If a false foot in U.S is priced at US$ 8 thousands, the false foot of Jaipur Foot is priced at US$ 30. This innovation is actually able to give help the physical defect poor persons remain working. An innovation and unique solution toward poverty problem is also found in history of successful Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, SEWA Bank in India, or many local initiatives carried out by LSM such as PEKERTI, Purbadanartha, Yayasan Mitra Usaha, etc.
Famous social enterprise terminology is actually not new issue. Nevertheless, it is interesting to be discussed because history of this nation which has long suffered from feudal structure and social system has no powerful enterprise. In some places such as in Java there remains perspective that being trader or runs own business is considered humble work.
Otherwise, rent seeking act is getting increase. How to be rich easily by mugging results of any other person’s work, behavior which continuously maintained from upper level to the lower level. As a result, producer profession is being not interesting and innovation is not respected. We must acknowledge that our nation’s enterprise declined sharply. It is now getting more difficult to mention the local made product. We only become broker and consumer of imported products. Tahu and tempeh as daily food of grass root people and also soy sauce. Ironically, the soybean is imported from the United States of America.
Indeed, if we talk about other consumer goods such as soap, toothpaste, etc. Those products are made by multinational company(MNC).
Social enterprise become interesting issue to be discussed, when we faced the poverty figure which increased sharply, become 39,05 million persons or 17,5% of total population (according to statistic bureau with living costs of Rp 152.847 per person/month). Meanwhile according to the World Bank (with living costs of US$2 per person/day) mentioned poverty figure in Indonesia reaches 110 million persons or 53% of total population. On the other hand, there is no investment attraction power and industry in Indonesia entered the sunset age. Workforce reduced and increasing jobless figure of 11,89 million persons (10,80% of total workforce).
To give solution, it is required breakthrough and efforts to integrate a number of initiatives. Therefore, our problem is how to find its spirit rather than how to make definition or category of social enterprise. How to make it the enterprise performance will have significant social impact. Because Muh. Yunus or other social enterprise founders acknowledged that their success is resulted from intensive involvement with poverty.
Likely, we are being reminded by Mr. Hatta’s wordings that the essence of community economy is the importance to educate spirit of love to society on mutual efforts principle. Thus, the community’s hard working is a manifestation of its dignity as human being. (Ign. Wahyu Indriyo)