Design Enterprise for Social Change: A Case of BySaeRi®

By Sun-Young Park, Saeri Dobson and Terry Dobson.

Published by The International Journal of Designed Objects

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: October 20, 2015 $US5.00

Design can raise awareness about social justice, which can indirectly help victims
 of injustice. But how can design make a direct difference in society? Can it really help save and improve lives? Specifically, how can design help young girls in rural Bangladesh break out of traditional expectations and become role models for hope? One of the fundamental ways to fight poverty is to educate poor women for their development and growth. Utilizing the concept of social enterprise business model, we discuss how a design business (BySaeRi Inc.) can help achieve that goal. BySaeRi® strives to increase consumer awareness by designing products with social messages that channel consumer desire for uniqueness, quality, and fashion to benefit society. Compared to traditional business models in capitalistic society that prioritize self-interest for profit-maximization and unlimited growth even at the cost of social and environmental exploitation, this company’s self-interest for business performance fueled by passion and compassion is the foundation for its benefit (i.e., educational opportunities) to the people whose lives it positively transforms. We also discuss some challenges in this pursuit, based on the lessons learned from enterprise implementation.

Keywords: Social Enterprise, Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Handbag Design, Bangladesh Women, Social Impact

The International Journal of Designed Objects, Volume 8, Issue 3-4, 2015, pp.11-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: October 20, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.567MB)).

Dr. Sun-Young Park

Associate Professor, School of Management, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Saeri Dobson

Associate Professor, The Department of Art and Art History, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Prof. Terry Dobson

Assistant Professor, Department of Art & Design, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California, USA