A Concern That Can Transform Society
Thursday, 01 January 1970
By: Pahala Nugraha Mansury
Indonesia is entering an exciting period. How could it be otherwise? This nation, the fourth most populous in the world, now has a per capita income of approximately US$ 4,000 and it is predicted to double in the next 4-5 years. However, based on the findings of a recent study, global consulting firm McKinsey has warned that Indonesia also faces a number of challenges, including the need to increase productivity by an estimated 60%, develop the energy and food sectors, and ensure a more inclusive development paradigm based on community empowerment.
In order to address these three challenges, it is essential that improvements be made to education, the capacity of people to actively participate in the economy, and the development process in the energy and food sectors. Overcoming these three challenges will require a great deal of hard work and the active participation of various parties, including corporations. While corporations often regard these aspects as being outside their areas of responsibility, it is undeniable that many concrete examples show that corporations which expand in a sustainable manner are often those which have become strategically involved in overcoming or part of the solutions to the challenges posed by development.
Bank Mandiri, as a state-owned enterprise, is committed to being a part of the solution by playing an active role and making a significant contribution to the welfare and prosperity of the entire Indonesian people.
Corporate Social Responsibility is one of the ways in which state enterprises can contribute more to society. In the public sector, CSR is manifested through the partnership and environmental development programs (PKBL) of each state enterprise.
Bank Mandiri has been practicing CSR since its establishment. Over the course of time, its CSR programs have been refined in order to enhance their benefits to both the public and the Bank.
As part of this process of fine-tuning, Bank Mandiri has reformulated its Partnership and Environmental Development Program vision so as to bring it into line with the vision of the Company, namely, to be Indonesia's most admired and progressive financial institution. In this way, the program now operates in synergy with the Bank’s commercial operations.
Bank Mandiri’s CSR program also optimizes the role of its regional units. The purpose of all this is to grow the Bank’s business, particularly in the high yield asset, retail payment and wholesale transaction segments.
Currently, Bank Mandiri’s Partnership and Environmental Development Program is based on three main pillars: first, the creation of self-reliant communities through the “Mandiri Bersama Mandiri” (Self Reliant with Mandiri) Program, which involves the integrated mentoring of community groups and communities in the areas of capacity, infrastructure, capability and access.
Second, the achievement of self-reliance in education and entrepreneurship, which is promoted through the “Wirausaha Muda Mandiri” (Mandiri Young Entrepreneur) Program and the Mandiri Peduli Pendidikan (Mandiri Cares for Education) Program, both of which are designed to mold future leaders who are capable of meeting the challenges of global competition.
And finally, the delivery of environmentally friendly facilities through six key programs: providing water supply infrastructure; developing renewable energy; planting trees on critical land; planting and maintaining mangrove forests; developing urban parks, and promoting eco tourism.
As regards to the self-reliance in education and entrepreneurship, Mandiri has excellent programs that are capable of equipping young people with what they need to face stiff global competition. In particular, the Mandiri Young Entrepreneur and Mandiri Young Technopreneur Programs have proved very popular with the public.
These programs trace their origin to Bank Mandiri’s concern about the inability of industry to provide enough jobs for Indonesia’s young people, thus resulting in a persistently high level of unemployment, especially among those of productive age.
Another rationale for the programs can be gleaned from Central Statistics Bureau data, which showed that the percentage of entrepreneurs in Indonesia stood at only around 0.24% of the working-age population in 2008. In fact, according to entrepreneurship expert David McClelland, to become a prosperous nation, a minimum of 2 percent of the total population must be engaged in entrepreneurship.
As a result, entrepreneurship development programs for young people, in particular, need to be intensified so as to inculcate in them an awareness of the benefits of being a job creator, rather than a job seeker. This is precisely what Bank Mandiri has been doing, in tandem with its transformation as a financial institution. The program commenced with an introduction to the importance of changing the mindset of students from that of "job seeker" to "job creator" upon the completion of their studies.
The intensification of the entrepreneurship movement in Indonesia on the part of concerned individuals and companies, as well as Government, clearly has the potential to create a positive aura that is capable of boosting investment at the community level. For its part, Government needs to consistently disseminate positive messages and apply policies that encourage and promote entrepreneurship in higher education. In that way, our universities will become well placed to promote innovative entrepreneurship. Their role at the epicenter of knowledge dissemination provides a golden opportunity to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship can act as the prime mover of the economy thanks to the multiplier effect. An entrepreneur creates a system through which capital is recycled, jobs are created, and products sold, resulting in the accumulation of sufficient capital and knowledge to render the business sustainable.
Indonesia needs a generation of young entrepreneurs to act as a new economic catalyst. Entrepreneurship creates jobs, boosts the productivity of young people and opens up new avenues for creating prosperity.
The old perception that starting up your own business is only for those who lack schooling must be changed. Entrepreneurship is not a profession, but rather a way of thinking – a way of thinking that focuses on spotting opportunities, innovation and a willingness to take risks. Bank Mandiri’s WMM and MYT Awards are not just about providing prizes. More importantly, they provide recognition that starting your own business is something that young people can be proud of, and is just as praiseworthy as achievements in other fields.
Under the WMM and MYT Programs, the participants are provided with a basic understanding of entrepreneurship, which they then apply in preparing business proposals for submission to the jury. The participants learn about the importance of "bankability" or eligibility to access banking facilities. This process also forms part of the effort to expand financial inclusion in Indonesia so that the number of people at all levels who can access banking services continues to grow.
In conclusion, Bank Mandiri’s Partnership and Environmental Development Program needs to have a significant and sustainable beneficial impact on society over the long term. Handouts are not enough. Rather, the program needs to change people’s mindset in a profound way so that they become more productive and are capable of playing an active role in promoting economic growth in this country. We also need to have confidence that Indonesia's future economic prospects are bright in the hands of the up-and-coming generation of entrepreneurs!
Source : Bisnis Indonesia