Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)

Research Article: 2019 Vol: 25 Issue: 1

Snapshot of the Socio Economic Life of Fishermen Community Based On Social Entrepreneurship in Bone Regency, Indonesia

Andi Cahaya, Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Administrasi (STIA) PRIMA Bone, Indonesia

Haedar Akib, Universitas Negeri Makassar (UNM), Indonesia

Farid Said, Politeknik Pariwisata Negeri Lombok, Indonesia

Mustari, Universitas Negeri Makassar, Indonesia

Muh Yahyaddin, Politeknik Pariwisata Negeri Lombok, Indonesia


This article explains the application of the concept of social entrepreneurship in improving the socio-economic life of fishing communities in Bone Regency. Respondents have selected purposively as many as 80 heads of families, every 40 people in Bulubulu Village and Padatuo Village. Data collection uses observation and questionnaire techniques where the instruments are also used as interview guidelines. The researcher interviewed ten informants, apart from two village heads and the Head of Tonra. The data is presented in the form of a percentage table to be analyzed using descriptive analysis techniques. The research findings are that the socio-economic life of fishing communities in Bone Regency based on the "lived" social entrepreneurial perspective is a manifestation of a sense of moral responsibility, service and "worship" as individual beings, social beings and God's creatures. The principle of living with a fisherman's family is a rational choice, where the work culture is based on the rhythms of nature and the weather, appreciates the message of the ancestors, works while learning from the "signs of nature" in making decisions. Fishermen know the character of the type of fish caught and the season is laying or breeding, so that the decision to go out to sea or "rest" improves equipment at sea, while carrying out "special worship" and "social worship" adjusted to the results of "reading" of natural signs. The Bugis tribe work ethic is built on the principle of "Resopa te’mmangingngi namalomo naletei pammase Dewata" (Hard work accompanied by an attitude of unyielding so that it is easy to get an abundance of God's Grace/Allah). The character of the individual behavior is a snapshot of the socio-economic-cultural-religious life of the fishermen's family which is recognized as an experience and at the same time "community learning" in a sustainable manner.


Social Entrepreneurship, Socio-Economic Life, Social Worship, Fishermen.


The Indonesian nation enjoyed a period of independence since the proclamation of 17 August 1945, for more than 70 years with full sovereign self-government, but the national ideals contained in the state constitution (the 1945 Constitution) namely "to promote public welfare" have not been achieved as expected. Development in various fields in the system of state governance which has changed several times still leaves the problems of people's lives which continue from year to year, one of which is poverty. It cannot be denied that national development, which has been going on for decades, is sufficient to improve the socio-economic standard of life for a large part of Indonesia's population, in the form of increasing income, higher education and health levels, as well as the quality of housing and residential environment which is quite decent. However, disadvantaged groups or people living in underdeveloped conditions with various characteristics, namely lack of nutritious food and drink, low education, poor health, less habitable settlements and others characterized by poverty are still quite large in number.

This phenomenon is like the expression of Dees (2007:2017) that, rapid economic growth and various experiments with governments have not been the most to a large portion of the world's population out of poverty. Curable and preventable diseases, especially among the poor. Therefore, according to Dees (2007), social strategies, individuals, and organizations that bring social problems to the same kind of determination, creativity, and resourcefulness that we are interested in among business entrepreneurs.

Poor people in Indonesia according to available data show a higher proportion in rural areas than in urban areas. This condition occurs because the business activities of people in rural areas are dominated by traditional economic activities with little added value, such as agriculture and small household industries. One community group that experiences chronic poverty is fishing communities living in coastal areas and small islands.

The population of South Sulawesi, according to the latest data, is 9,522,503 people, with a total of 2,725,542 units, or an average of 3.9 people per household (Dinas Kependudukan & Provinsi Sulawesi Selatan, 2018). South Sulawesi has a long coastal area, in addition to having hundreds of small islands inhabited by fishing communities. Of the 24 regencies and cities that exist, only Tana Toraja Regency, North Toraja Regency and Enrekang Regency do not have a coastal area, in other words not inhabited by fishing communities.

There are various results of studies on poverty, as well as changes in government policies to tackle the problem of poverty, but have not been effective enough to reduce poverty levels quickly and evenly. Based on the number of poor people in Indonesia, nearly one million people are domiciled in Sulawesi Province and are domiciled in fishing communities.

In the expert's view (Cahaya, 2017; Hadi, et al., 2015; Sujatmoko, 1958), this poverty problem is not only an impact of the low economic productivity of the family concerned, but also due to instrumental factors, such as lack of skills and working capital. Likewise, the problem of poverty is related to psychological-socio-cultural factors and the mental attitude of the community concerned, as well as the factors of "weak" adopted religious beliefs. Therefore the article from this research aims to explain the application of the concept of social entrepreneurship in the socio-cultural-economic-religious life procedures of fishing communities in Bone Regency.

Literature Review

According to Dees (2007), rapid economic growth and various experiments with governments have not been the most to large portions of the world's population out of poverty. Curable and preventable diseases, especially among the poor. Poverty is a living condition of individuals or families who experience shortages or limitations in fulfilling their basic needs, such as food, drinks, clothing, a decent place to live (home), health care and education for their children. The condition of poverty is a direct result of the low income of the family concerned. This problem is related to the low productivity and work outcomes of the poor, both wage-generating jobs and jobs that generate profits or business opportunities (Imron, 2003).

Understanding of poverty phenomena can be explained from two perspectives, namely structural perspective and cultural perspective (Rabow et al., 1983; Zhou, 2002). The structural perspective explains that the phenomenon of poverty is the impact of the economic system that prioritizes the accumulation of capital and modern technological products and systematically marginalizes marginal groups of people from access points to increase their income and standard of living, resulting in the poor. As a result of access to the poor which is almost closed from various productive business opportunities, such as capital, modern technology and markets, they are distracted in marginal economic ventures or businesses that are only able to meet the needs of "subsistence life", not even a few are still lacking. This is inseparable from the impact of development policies that have not yet reached most of the community, resulting in income inequality and socio-economic inequality (Cahaya, 2017; Rabow et al., 1983; Sujatmoko, 1958; Wekke & Cahaya, 2015; Zahra et al., 2009; Zhou, 2002).

Meanwhile, a cultural perspective views poverty not primarily from social structures, but from the characteristics of the poor themselves (Rabow et al., 1983; Zhou, 2002). Poverty refers to the problem of the attitude of people or society caused by cultural factors, such as "lazy behavior that is cultured", not creative, spread and wasteful. This perspective sees poverty as a condition caused by human attitudes and behaviors that lack or do not support development, or behavior that is based on an attitude called a strong feeling of marginality, with a characteristic apathy, fatalistic and submissive to the fate that is lived. Such attitudes and behavior are motivated by the socio-cultural and economic characteristics of the poor, namely low education, low health status, as well as working capital and land that are minimal or do not have capital.

Based on the poverty perspective, one way to improve the socio-economic-religious standard of living of citizens is through understanding and applying the principles of social entrepreneurship (Parente et al., 2012; Wu et al., 2013). Whereas according to Dees (2007) in a paper entitled Taking Social Entrepreneurship Seriously, that one is promising strategy for improvement is to encourage and support social entrepreneurs, individuals and organizations that bring social problems to the same kind of determination, creativity and resourcefulness that we are among the business entrepreneurs.

Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new term, both as an academic concept and as a political practice of institutions from different sectors of society (Parente, 2016). While some authors note that social entrepreneurship can be found throughout contemporary history (Leadbeater, 1997; Nicholls, 2008), the emergence and visibility of this issue back to the 1990s with the aim of describing the sets of responses from civil society (in many different organizational shapes and forms for new forms of poverty and social exclusion.

Social entrepreneurship was an inner trend last decade, real indications are seen from the growth of non-profit organizations throughout the year 1987-1997 was 31 percent, which exceeds the growth of the formal business as much as 26% in the same period. Different from commercial entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship definitively has a wide range to the narrow, previously social entrepreneurship always identified with innovative activities with good social oriented goals profit or not (Austin, 2006; Dacin et al., 2010; Dees, 2017; Emerson & Twersky, 1996; Yaumidin, 2016). Whereas more specifically, social entrepreneurship is defined as the application of expertise business based on processing conditions markets in unfavorable areas such as when a non-profit oriented sector make activities that can produce a profit (Reis & Clohesy, 1999). From the definition can be concluded that the core of social entrepreneurship is "creating value social rather than creating personal wealth and shareholders, whose characteristics characterized by capable innovation factors overcome various social problems faced by the community" (Thake & Zadek, 1997).

According to Saviz et al. (2012), social entrepreneurship provides an opportunity for formal service learning. The perspective of social entrepreneurship is understood as an innovative, social value creating an activity that can occur within not-for-profit, business or government sectors (Austin, 2006; Austin & Reficco, 2008). Social entrepreneurship broadly defined is ''Innovative use of resources'' (Mair & Noboa, 2006).

Research Methodology

This research was carried out in two coastal villages, namely Bulubulu and Padatuo Villages, Bone Regency, South Sulawesi Province. The village of Bulubulu has a population of 3,492 and Padatuo has a population of 1607 (Biro Pusat Statistik, 2017). By its demographic position, the majority of families in these two villages has the main source of income from business activities in the fisheries sector with a profession as fishermen, or called a fishing society. Most of the family heads have a background in Junior High School education, some even lower (graduating from elementary school). Even so, there are quite a lot of children who are studying in high school and some of them are studying in college. All residents in this research location adhere to Islam and are relatively obedient in carrying out their religious teachings.

Data collection was carried out in 2017-2018, by purposively selecting 80 households as respondents, 40 respondents each in two villages. The criteria for selecting respondents were carried out purposively based on data on the number of poor families from village and district governments, referring to the list of recipients of "Poverty Alleviation Programs" coordinated by the Social Service of Bone Regency. Data collection is done through direct observation (observation sheet) and questionnaire filling which is also used as an interview guide to be read out by researchers to respondents. The researcher (author) also interviewed each of the five key informants in the two villages (community leaders, religious leaders, members of non-governmental organizations/NGOs, members of village meetings), in addition to interviewing the heads of Bulubulu Village, the head of Padatuo Village and the Head of Tonra District. The data is processed (categorized) and displayed in the form of a percentage table to be analyzed and explained using descriptive-qualitative analysis techniques (Arikunto, 2006).

Results And Discussion

Characteristics of Respondents

The entire family head (80 people) who were selected as respondents were the majority of those aged 31-49 years (76.25%). This respondent shows the age level of the productive workforce, so it is considered a potential to increase the income of his family. Only 18.75% are older, 50 years and over and the rest are still under 30 years old. All families have the main source of income from the fisheries and marine sector, namely the majority (87.50%) as capture fishermen, and only 6.25% as workers in pond and seaweed cultivation.

Looking at the main sources of income of the fishing communities studied and based on the results of previous research, they (fishermen) are among the groups that are very vulnerable to the problem of poverty, due to cultural and structural factors (Barrutia & Echebarria, 2012; Cahaya, 2015; Hadi et al., 2015; Parente, 2016; Parente et al., 2012; Syam, et al., 2018). Cultural factors as causes of poverty include, among others, "destructive" local cultural traditions that are maintained from generation to generation, namely relating to fisheries business activities and "lack of depth" of the religious beliefs adopted while the structural aspects are mainly related to the product marketing system and the profit sharing system by working relationships among poor (fishermen) community members.

Viewed from the burden/dependents of fishermen families, there is 60% of respondents who have children as many as three people or more. There are even ten families (12.50%) who have 5 or more children. Whereas the head of the family who has 1 and two children is only 32.50% and the rest (6 people) do not have (blessed) children. The number of children shows the size of the family and at the same time becomes a marker of the size of the economic burden for the family concerned. This can be seen when it is related to the number of family members who are actively working, where there is 87.50% of fisherman households with a family head who is the only main breadwinner, and only 12.50% have an additional workforce of one or two families. The additional workforce in question is usually including the wife or oldest child of a fisherman family member (Table 1).

Table 1: Indicator Of Fishermen's Socio-Economic Life In Bone Regency, 2017
Weekday/week Frequency (f) Percentage (%)
Every day 40 50.00
Less than 5 3 3.75
Uncertain 32 40.00
Depends on season 5 6.25
Total 80 100.00
Earnings/month (Rupiah) Frequency (f) Percentage (%)
Less than 1.000.000 42 52.50
1.000.000-1.999.999 29 36.75
2.000.000-2.999.999 4 5.00
3.000.000-3.999.999 4 5.00
More than 4.000.000 1 1.25
Total 80 100.00
Attendance on religious holidays Frequency (f) Percentage (%)
Often 16 20.00
Any time 49 61.25
Never 15 18.75
Total 80 100.00
Attendance at cultural activities Frequency (f) Percentage (%)
Often 22 27.50
Any time 44 55.00
Never 14 17.50
Total 80 100.00

Among poor families who generally rely on the outpouring of time and physical labor as a determinant of the amount of income, the mobilization of eligible working members is a factor behind the development of their family's socio-economic life. The conditions in the two villages show that the majority of fisherman families only have one family breadwinner and because of that it is also an indicator of the low economic capacity of poor families to fulfill their families' needs.

Activities and Economic Profile of Fishermen Families

The economic activities of fishing communities show that half of them have a work schedule every day, as well as almost half of them say their work schedules are uncertain and highly dependent on the season (46.25%). The remaining numbers of fishermen actively work for living less than five days a week. The income of the fishing community depends on work activities. Therefore, the relatively low volume or schedule of community economic activities has a direct impact on the average family income level each month. Most families of fishermen claim to earn on average less than 1 million rupiahs per month (52.50%). Whereas the fishing community whose income is between 1-2 million rupiah as much as 36.75 percent, and the rest only five families who earn an average of 3 million rupiahs or more a month (Table 1).

Based on the income categorization of fishermen families and the average income of 3 million rupiah per month as the poverty threshold in rural areas in Bone Regency, it is seen that there are only 5 families of respondents (6.25) who are classified as not poor, while the majority (93.75%) classified as poor families. The amount of the nominal amount of rupiah expressed as average monthly income by most fishermen does not take into account the value of other goods in the form of material for food produced and directly consumed, such as catch fish eaten daily, or other food ingredients (Table 1).

The Socio-Cultural-Religious Orientation of the Fishing Community

The fishermen community members and their families are Muslims whose practices are seen in their "traditional" attitudes and behavior. This is based on their level of education, which is a junior high school graduate or lower, so that the level of rationality of understanding and applying their religious teachings "relatively lower." In their daily lives they combine religious values that are adhered to with the socio-cultural values of the local community which are traditionally believed and used as a reference for their behavior, including their behavior in economic activities.

According to the informants' understanding and based on the observations of researchers (writers) on the socio-cultural life of the majority of fisherman families that, the principle of "living together" is a rational choice with the principle that: "golden rain in people's land, stone rain in their own country, they choose to keep living/living with family members in their own country." The working culture of some fishing communities is based on "natural rhythms" and weather, where when "The moon shines brightly at night" for fishermen means fish are caught less, while for the surrounding community it is means the price of fish on the market is higher. There is also an understanding of fishermen who go fishing or fishing that, should not be too optimistic ("takabbur") will get much fish by carrying/providing a large fish place for fishing results, because it can happen otherwise, later or not or fewer results obtained by bait.

Fishermen understand the location where many fish in the sea only see "natural signs" which is where many birds fly above sea level. Fishermen know the direction (east-west, north south) at night just by watching the position of the stars in the sky. Fishermen know that the sea breeze blows during the day, the land winds blow at night, so that many fishermen go out to sea at night so that they are easily carried away by the wind and not against the current, because fighting the flow of sea water drains or wastes energy. Fishermen know the character of certain types of fish and the season for laying or breeding. Likewise fishermen really understand the reason of God (called: Allah Subhanahu wataala) creating seawater that tastes salty which is to neutralize odors, so that salt made from sea water besides being able to preserve fish (which is salted) and neutralize fishy smell, salt also makes the mind -the taste of food becomes more delicious or savory. Fishermen even understand the meaning of the proverb that, "salt in the sea, acid on the mountain, in cauldron/pan also meets", meaning that even though we humans differ in origin and place of residence, they eventually coalesce, because humans need each other. Likewise, it is believed by fishermen that even though God created humans on this earth with different physical characteristics, but essentially "remains one", namely "from our land originates, lives on the ground and will return to the ground."

Fishermen together with coastal communities in Bulubulu and Padatuo Villages, Bone Regency, in addition to practicing the teachings of Islam or performing special worship (routine worship), such as five daily prayers and fasting in Ramadan, but most of them rarely confess (61.25%) or never at all (18.75%) participating in religious activities held in the community, for example the celebration of Muslim religious holidays, the commemoration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, and the like. There was only 20% of respondents claiming to often participate in social-community religious activities (Table 1).

The involvement of fishermen residents in traditional socio-cultural activities is still low, because they are more likely to attend the program at any time, when they have the opportunity. There was 27.5% of respondents who said they often followed, and 17.5% said they had never been involved in social-cultural activities in the past two years. Fishermen's trust in destiny causes the family's socio-economic conditions to be so, but factors other than cultural traditions and religious beliefs are also quite influential, such as the problem of business capital, skills and government policies that are less pro-poor. Likewise, the influence of religious beliefs about destiny has to do with a low level of education, because most fishermen graduate from junior high school, so the religious rationality factor in addressing living conditions also tends to be less.

One of the socio-cultural aspects that shackle poor people to develop socio-economically is their attachment to traditional cultural values and often in conjunction with "religious beliefs that are also traditional." Socio-cultural values serve as a factor that binds the solidarity of fishing communities to live shared and challenges faced, but at the same time as obstacles to achieving progress. While religious beliefs function as a controller of behavior and a source of spiritual calm so that we can always maintain togetherness, including in socio-economic activities. Specifically, religious beliefs accompanied by a low educational background are a vehicle for gaining a sense of security and friendship with the surrounding environment as a source of economic life (Observation and Interview Results, 2017-2018; Cahaya, 2017). Therefore, religious attitudes coupled with ritual activities and economic activities of fishing communities cause them to be faced with natural and environmental conditions that cannot be controlled in the form of oceans and often unpredictable weather (Samuel & Akib, 2015; Wekke & Cahaya, 2015). According to Saebani (2007) that in religious communities, the poor not only believe in things that are realistic and empirical, but also believe in things that are mythical, occult and even things that are impossible to see. Religion is considered a sacred shade that protects humans from despair, chaos and meaningless situations. On the other hand, the factor of religious beliefs based on traditional understanding is a driving force for increasing the economic endeavor of the community. Likewise the community can increase its social role in the form of increasing social status, charity activities, the quality of worship with much tithes or going to Umrah or Hajj to the holy land of Mecca (Ismail, 2012; Saebani, 2007).

Alternative solutions for improving the socio-cultural-religious life of the fishing community. Improving the quality of the socio-economic life of the fishermen's family which refers to the structural approach is done rationally based on the modernization theory, in the form of education and training programs, providing access to business capital, accompanied by the provision of facilities by the government. At the same time, by referring to the cultural approach, an increase in the socio-economic life of the fishing community is carried out by changing the pattern of thought, the pattern of remembrance and behavior so that the work ethic increases and is more productive.

Apart from the attachment to cultural traditions and religious beliefs which still have a strong influence on the economic activities and lives of (poor) fishing communities, their awareness of rational and technical matters to improve their work productivity is also quite strong. Conversely, the powerlessness of the dynamics of the economy is not in their favor, such as access to production inputs, capital, production technology, and information and product marketing networks, so some of these poor fishing communities respond passively as a condition of God's destiny. Thus, the socio-cultural-religious orientation that harmonizes the life of the community in a harmonious and peaceful manner results in the weak initiative and creativity of the fishing community to rise and spur economic activities.

The local socio-cultural factors in Bone Regency that blend with religious beliefs are still adhered to and function quite effectively as a reference for the attitude and behavior of fishing communities. According to experts, the cultural values and local wisdom adopted by the fishing community are in line with "modern" values as the basis for developing the principles and values of social entrepreneurship. In other words, the socio-economic life of the fishing community in Bone Regency that is "lived" as it is a manifestation of a sense of moral responsibility, service and "social worship" as individual beings and social beings, as well as God's creatures.

Institutionally, the attitudinal and behavioral characteristics of fishing communities in Bone Regency correspond to the structural impacts caused by the economic system and are personally in line with cultural perspectives on the causes of poverty and, therefore, alternative solutions for improving the quality of socio-cultural-religious life of fishing communities can also be done through two perspectives (structural, individual). According to Rabow et al. (1983) & Zhou (2002) the growing capacity of community-based organizations to move is beyond transient counseling and prevention activities to deliver sustainable, trusted, and culturally appropriate services are demonstrating the advantages of this new approach. Local community-based organizations are often developing new solutions to complex poverty problems, and their expanded scope is for a larger role in service delivery. Social entrepreneur models have the potential to move beyond and extend the capacity of traditional community-organized BLT services that are not productive.

Social entrepreneur models are attractive to vulnerable groups compared to traditional community-based organization services for three reasons. First, social entrepreneurship models provide potential revenue sources and connections to marketing and business partners so that they can be sustained long term. Second, social entrepreneur models, especially if they are running non-profit businesses by vulnerable groups, provide a deeper sense of ownership and programs compared to traditional community-based organization programs. Finally, social entrepreneurship models represent an opportunity to more fully normalize the poverty alleviation program process in culturally appropriate contexts. The expansion of public-private partnerships creates a nurturing environment to develop decentralized, sustainable systems for capacity building programs for fisherman.


The snapshot of the socio-economic life of fishing communities in Bone Regency can be considered based on a social entrepreneurial perspective because work ethic and life are "lived" as a manifestation of a sense of moral responsibility, service and "worship" as individual beings, social beings and God's creatures. Whereas the principle of living with the fishermen's family is a rational choice, because the work culture is based on natural and weather rhythms, respect for the message of the ancestors, and works while learning from "natural signs" in making decisions. Fishermen know the character of the type of fish caught and the season spawning or breeding so that the decision to go out to sea or "rest" improves equipment at sea, while carrying out "special worship" and "social worship" adjusted to the results of "reading" of natural signs. The Bugis ethnic work ethic is built on the cultural values and principles of "Resopa te’mmangingngi namalomo naletei pammase Dewata" (Hard work accompanied by an unyielding attitude so that it is easy to get an abundance of God's Grace/Allah). The behavioral character is an illustration of the socio-economic-cultural-religious life of the fishermen's family which is understood as a valuable experience and at the same time sustainable community learning. Therefore, it is recommended that in addition to the reconstruction of structural factors that support the socio-economic life of the fishermen community, then the same principles of social entrepreneurship in fishermen also need to be re-actualized and given a nuance of valuable creativity and innovation.


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