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Formalization of the Social Sector

"An organization of social businesses has slowly evolved over time in the free and fiercely competitive Asia-Pacific market. Social enterprise represents a current organizational set-up, while an unpopular cooperative can be considered as the first wave of social entrepreneurial organization (Curl, 2009). The other two profound established pillars; the public sector and social economy or an informal economy, which embraces a wide range of institutional set-ups from community have been integrated voluntary and not-for-profit activities associated with for-profit business enterprises for centuries. This is comparable with the classical research triangle model of government, private enterprises, and the educational institutes, interaction. In the forthcoming years, there will be an active movement to formalize the regional social sector from 3 forces; nationalization, bureaucratization, and education.

"1. Nationalization: Evolving social enterprises in SEA will be imposed with nationalization attempt form the government. These will positively and negatively affect social sector through formulation of social business policy, social enterprise registration, rules and regulations, tax incentives and supporting schemes. In the opposite direction, internationalization of sector will mainly strengthen local social enterprise from networking and social venture in particular areas (Zahra, Rawhouser, Bhawe, Neubaum, and Hayton, 2008). The roles of international social venture groups (i.e. Skroll Foundation, Ashoka, etc.) may face with national barrier on social engagement when their networked grantees become more mature and established.

"2. Bureaucratization: National governments and groups of anchored non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Southeast Asia will cooperate more to impose stricter control over social enterprise set-up, clustering, firm registration, and business transaction as it will directly affect the social administration and indirectly boost self-reliance of the underprivileged and beneficial groups through democratization and empowering their living standard, particularly in religion, energy, and knowledge sectors.

"3. Education: There will be more new intensive, advanced and executive degrees on social entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia, particularly in the ASEAN5 nations, especially the Philippines and Singapore, while the Indo-China countries will have more access to a learning-by-doing style of self-help and mentoring education from various local and international support organizations."

Implications from Noviscape:

"• Encouraging for-profit entrepreneurs to tackle social issues and to provide support, working on income earning strategies for non-profits, create a blurring stage on a hybrid structures between the roles played by non-profits and for-profit groups in achieving sustainable social impact. Strategizing roles and contribution among key players will be very crucial for the future development of social economy.
• System failure and vicious cycle of social works will accelerate a new entry of the disappointed idealistic newcomer to solve social problems.
• A tipping point of an impact on a shift of social enterprise culture will be in a balancing focus on an expression of pragmatism and idealism.
• Social enterprise registration will create an entry barrier to social market. Social business ownership foresight on ownership is a more appropriate point of departure to investigate a possible future of social business.
• Formation of policy and business model with special reference to local norms and focus on urban and rural disparity should embrace rice culture with concepts of social innovation and social entrepreneurship."

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Noviscape, June 2011, page 11: http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/Noviscape_June2011#page=11

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