Fostering innovation within and around the company is a major stake for multinational companies that constantly seek to adapt to a multiplicity of changing environments. Supporting entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs is a way to do that, at global level but also at a regional scale. Danone’s commitment to social innovation is thus carried out not only by funds like danone.communities and the Danone Ecosystem Fund, but also thanks to local business units’ initiatives. Danone Young Social Entrepreneur (DYSE) is one of them.
Solving social issues
DYSE is a social business competition that was launched in 2013 by Danone in Indonesia. It calls out to Indonesian university students, gathered in teams of up to 5 members, to present a social business proposal to solve a social issue in their surroundings. For the second edition of the programme, contestants were asked to present a project dealing with one of the following social challenges: Waste Management, Sustainable Agriculture, Access to Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Fighting Malnutrition, Empowering Women & Children, Fighting Obesity and Empowering Milk Farmers.
The idea of the competition is to give the students the opportunity to formalise their idea and present it in front of a jury, composed of Danone General Managers, members of the 5 Indonesian business units’ Executive Committee and Social Entrepreneurs. The 12 selected projects for the 2014 edition then participated to a DYSE day, held at the Danone Cikarang factory on June 10-12, which allowed them to discuss with the jury and present their project in front of them.
At the end of the DYSE day, the jury rewarded 5 teams, who all received a IDR 15.000.000 funding and scholarships monthly (ranging from IDR 500.000 to 900.000 per month). The winning team, LNG Team, got rewarded for their project “Starfruit Jam,” which supports startfruit farmers in Depok: even though the starfruit is the emblem of the city of Depok, city farmers find it harder and harder to keep their exploitations going for lack of opportunities on the market. The project aims at helping them maintaining their activity, making it sustainable and empowering their wives to work with them and make extra income.
On top of receiving money from the Social Business Fund, the LNG Team was also given the opportunity to go on a Learning Expedition in Singapore (June 23-25), where they met employees from Danone and AXA, as well as social innovators – for instance at The Thought Collective, a social innovation centre. The 5 winning teams also benefit from mentoring from their Campus Manager and Social Entrepreneurs to carry out their projects.
The 2013 edition had allowed 9 students to join Danone Indonesia, where they still work. Hopefully this year’s competition will contribute to the emergence of problem-solving businesses, and of resourceful entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs that will help draw the future of social innovation at Danone.