September, 26, 2016
By: Heena Khushalani

Spurring the spirit of inclusive entrepreneurship in Indonesia

Multi Sector

Indonesia is rightly considered as one of the important emerging markets of the world. As a diverse nation of 17000 islands, it has its unique set of challenges and successes. Entrepreneurship as a concept is not new to this nation that has produced its own set of successful entrepreneurs in the traditional sectors of mining, natural resources, real estate etc.

But in today’s world, the nation’s riding on a new wave of entrepreneurship. No conversation about entrepreneurship in the country would be complete without a mention of Gojek, Tokopedia – the country’s homegrown start-ups that every Indonesian is proud of. Gojek: a company that’s found opportunity in the otherwise infamous Jakarta traffic, has helped increase the employment in Jakarta, provide a faster way to travel in the city and diversifying in new avenues such as logistics solutions to corporates. Indonesia has also witnessed the rise in social enterprises such as Bali Sea Food International and East Bali Cashews, which have demonstrated the potential to create scalable business models and high impact through deep engagement with the community.

As is the case in most emerging economies, many in the new generation of Indonesia aspire to be an entrepreneur, not only because of the cool factor, but also because they see the opportunity to use entrepreneurship as a tool to address some of the challenges that the country faces. But in order for this dream to be realized, these entrepreneurs need to be provided with the right support, guidance, mentorship, networks and of course capital.

Aavishkaar has an investment philosophy of supporting early stage entrepreneurs and we strongly believe that the ecosystem plays a significant role in an entrepreneur’s success. It is with this vision that KfW and Aavishkaar partnered to create a technical assistance facility (TAF): to support the entrepreneurs we invest in as well as to support platforms like Sankalp that convene different stakeholders who are involved in supporting an enterprise.

The first edition of Sankalp in Jakarta was a great beginning to the TAF’s effort of supporting the ecosystem in Indonesia. The convening attracted a gathering of close to 400 participants from 20 different countries. The targeted, pre-summit sessions on the first day hosted some of the dynamic conversations around the role each stakeholder can play for developing a strong ecosystem and brought together incubators, angel investors, DFIs from multiple countries in the same room, to exchange knowledge on their experiences and best practices. The Sankalp awards with 5  enterprises from a variety of sectors including waste management, artisan livelihoods, clean energy, water and agriculture – were an incredible showcase of not only the entrepreneurial energy of the nation but also the important problems the country faces.

His Excellency Mr. Gurjit Singh, the former Indian ambassador to Indonesia and Timor touched upon a very important note in his address – which is the similarity of challenges that Indonesia and India face, with a unique history of cultural synergies. Sankalp with its vision to create a south-south knowledge corridor, connecting India – Africa – South East Asia, is a great platform to convene such a dialogue about the similarity of challenges these regions face and showcasing each region’s unique innovations.

It is with this vision that we continue to partner with Sankalp as it provides its partners like TAF, an opportunity to engage and convene multiple stakeholders who are all working towards the same goal of ecosystem development in the region. We look forward to its second edition this October, and continuing the conversations of how can we support entrepreneurship in the region.

The 2nd Sankalp Southeast Asia summit is scheduled on October 25-26, 2016 at Jakarta, Indonesia. Participate with us on building the Southeast Asia entrepreneurship’s ecosystem.