Posts tagged entrepreneur

Google keen on Indonesian market, less keen on local regulation


Google has plans to expand its operations in Indonesia with a potentially large investment. There is speculation the company will spend anywhere between US$100 million and $1 billion, with Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) optimistic the amount will be larger than Google has invested in other ASEAN nations.

Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt met this week with Indonesian Vice President Boediono and high level government ministers to set out the proposals. Google is eager to begin its Indonesian expansion as soon as possible, but is apparently still seeking clarification over online advertising regulations, security, and government involvement in the country’s obligatory local data centers.

Schmidt was in Bali this week as the keynote speaker at the ASEAN Regional Entrepreneur Summit 2011 and was quoted as being surprised by the amount of independent business activity in Indonesia. He said the country’s business environment was very similar to the USA in terms of interconnectivity, market homogeny and large population.

He also met with members of the Indonesian Association of Young Entrepreneurs, where he reportedly told them a reduction in government intervention would speed up Google’s plans to establish an Indonesian base.

sources & articles: The Jakarta Post, e27

More on Indonesia’s entrepreneurial spirit


Entrepreneurship is a hot topic in Indonesia this week after the Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia (GEPI) event in Bali. This article in the Christian Science Monitor adds strength to the BBC’s earlier claim that Indonesia is the best place in the world to be an entrepreneur in 2011.

It’s not Indonesia’s politics or established structures that created this environment, though. In fact, entrepreneurs there seem to thrive despite excessive regulation, poor access to finance and inadequate physical infrastructure. Instead it is Indonesia’s unique cultural environment: a young population, many tech-savvy and with overseas education, leading the way. Young entrepreneurs are looking at their country and trying to solve its problems piece by piece with the resources available.

Indonesia is embracing modern methods and techniques to interact. The country is already home to the world’s second largest Facebook population and its third-largest on Twitter. There’s a proportionately large number of mobile internet users and around 700 active tech start-ups, with a new one each week.

The United States is doing what it can to support the entrepreneurial wave in Muslim-majority countries, and it is Indonesia that has been quickest to make the most of it. The Global Entrepreneurship Program is a US State Department initiative funded in part by USAID and Indonesian partners, and last week’s GEPI event drew at least 11 major US-based angel investors.

source & article: Christian Science Monitor

Indonesian courier start-up Go-Jek wins fame, prize


Small Indonesian start-up Go-Jek is getting plenty of coverage today after winning a US$10,000 prize in the Global Entrepreneurship Program: Indonesia. The company, which uses ‘ojeks’ (motorcycle taxis) as courier drivers, also accepted donations from a prominent US entrepreneur and is looking into further partnerships with foreign companies.

Click here for a CNN Video report on Go-Jek

Indonesia’s cities, especially Jakarta, have become notorious for traffic gridlock in recent years, as the booming economy puts more vehicles on the roads than current infrastructure can handle. Short of a helicopter, the best way to beat traffic jams is on the back of a motorcycle, and there are plenty of people offering the back half of their saddle for a reasonable price.

Go-Jek took the concept of ojek service and made it more reputable with a bright green branded image and reliable drivers. In operation since February 2011, they take passengers and will courier any package that can be carried on a motorcycle. As well as being cheap, the company offers a decent and much-needed income stream to Jakarta’s legions of motorcycle riders.

The Jakarta Globe has an interview with 27 year-old co-founder and chief executive Nadiem Makarim, who founded Go-Jek in February 2011 with partners Brian Cu and Michaelangelo Moran. The company now has seven full time employees, over 200 regular drivers, 80 pick-up points across Jakarta with over 600 unique customers and 50-60 jobs a day. The founders plan to use their new fame and investment to drive a large expansion over the coming year.

The Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia (GEPI) held a showcase of Indonesian startups in Bali from 22-24 July, attracting interested angel investors from the US and around the world. Organizers said the response was “beyond expectations”.

sources & articles: CNN, Go-Jek,, Jakarta Globe

US entrepreneurship delegation to visit Indonesia


An American delegation of 13 leading entrepreneurs and early-stage investors will visit Indonesia to check out the local startup scene from 19-24 July 2011.

Hosted by the Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia (GEPI), the group seeks to strengthen the two countries’ business ties under the Comprehensive Partnership, a bilateral cooperation agreement signed last year. Improving trade and investment is one of the Comprehensive Partnership’s six pillars, and entrepreneurship is seen as one of its key drivers.

At finale of the July event, 32 selected Indonesian start-ups will present their business plans to the delegation led by Mr. Steven Koltai, the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Global Entrepreneurship. Registered startups will post their ideas on GEPI’s website for everyone to peruse, and the delegation will judge winning presentations in Bali on 22 July.

The also mark the beginning of the Regional Entrepreneurship Summit in Bali from 23-24 July, supported by Indonesian entrepreneur support network MEKAR and attended by representatives of startups from ASEAN, India and China.

source: GEPI, MEKAR

BBC survey names Indonesia best country for entrepreneurs


Indonesia is the best place in the world for an entrepreneur to start a business, says a survey by the BBC’s Extreme World series. The US, Canada, India and Australia were next on the list.

Having Indonesia at the top of the list might surprise a few people from outside the region, given that Indonesia rarely appears in the top ten of most ease-of-business or economic freedom lists. The BBC’s research, however, focused not on economic conditions, statistics  or government regulation but instead on cultural perceptions: how much innovation and the startup spirit were seen to be valued in each society, plus entrepreneurs’ own impressions of how easy it was to turn their ideas into a viable business.

Results tended to match a country’s international image, with Colombia, Italy, Egypt and Turkey ranking near the bottom. Among the survey’s surprises, though, was China ranking closer to India and Nigeria, both of which are seen as entrepreneur-friendly by their own people.

source & article: BBC invokes the spirit of Brunei’s trading past


Brunei once had a reputation as one of Southeast Asia’s key trading hubs. It can become that again, say the makers of Brunei’s first e-business portal.

For over 500 years, Padians were river traders who sold their goods from boats in Brunei’s Kampong Ayer (water villages). Their contribution to the local economy, and Brunei’s reputation in the wider area as a trading port, became invaluable as they brought necessary items directly to residents from shops, farmers and other traders further away.

That’s the kind of entrepreneurial spirit Rushdi Ibrahim and Shafique Hussain want to reinvigorate with, a complete e-business hub created by AMIR Consortium Sdn Bhd* and designed to connect Brunei’s small and medium enterprise (SME) operators with local and overseas clients, customers and government tenders. logo's river trader logo

“We wanted people know know: we are here,” says Rushdi, Operations Director and one of the project’s owners. The portal is at the forefront of Brunei’s efforts to restore its historic reputation as a trading center, after decades of watching larger neighbors like Singapore grab the spotlight. Their success will depend on attracting users not just in Brunei, but across ASEAN and the rest of the world. is an active participant in trade shows around the world — the two have spent the past week in Tokyo drumming up new business and meeting local entrepreneurs, many of whom remain unaware of Japan’s appeal and marketability in other parts of Asia.

“Our initial focus was to help Brunei SMEs,” says Shafique,’s Head of Marketing. “They had good products but not marketing and IT knowledge. We wanted to give them the opportunity to sell their products and image online easily, so they can just focus on producing products.”

“We wanted to make it very Bruneian,” he adds, referring not only to local produce but the country’s image as a place to make deals. “We wanted to help businesses grow, to reach out to others and build a bridge between all countries in the region.”


New initiative seeks to increase Indonesian entrepreneurship


The Indonesian Government launched a new initiative to promote entrepreneurship on Wednesday, saying the younger generation should “be able to create jobs rather than seek jobs”. The spirit of individual initiative through business was necessary to reduce unemployment and propel Indonesia into developed nationhood.

The new program is called the National Entrepreneurship Movement (GKN). Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Sjarifuddin Hasan said his Ministry would work with state-owned enterprises, banks and communities to provide new opportunities, identify potential and improve access to funding. It will also provide showroom space in the Smesco Building for entrepreneurs to showcase their products while gaining marketing and networking skills.

The government has already supported a number of plans including scholarships, the Partnership and Environmental Development Program (PKBL), the National Program for Community Empowerment (PNPM Mandiri), and microcredit (KUR).

The Minister said Indonesia needed to increase its number of entrepreneurs, since only 0.24% of the population identified themselves as such. The GKN program sought to increase that number by 2% at the very least.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono also attended Wednesday’s launch, and said “A businessman is someone who has ideas, is creative and innovative. He is brave enough to do something new and a risk-taker… to be an entrepreneur, one must actively work to develop one’s own life.”

source & article: Antara via the Indonesian Embassy, Washington DC

Singapore govt to invest heavily in R&D


The Singapore government spent a record $2.3 billion, or 0.87% of its GDP, on research and development in the past year, according to a report by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). The government has promised to increase that amount to 1% of GDP to make Singapore a global R&B hub and “Asia’s innovation capital” with an economy dominated by entrepreneurs.

Gross expenditure (including private sector spending) on R&D actually fell between 2008 and 2009 thanks to a reduction in the private sector’s capital expenditure from $2 billion to $712 million. Capital expenditure includes one-off purchases of fixed assets such as land, construction and equipment. The government, however, will prop up the shortfall with plans to spend a total of S$16.1 billion (US$12.2 billion) on R&D between 2011-15 as part of its Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2015 plan.

source & article: Straits Times

Open Web Asia 2010 in KL


Open Web Asia is a conference bringing together Asia’s brightest web technology minds to put a unique spin on the latest in internet developments, and this year it lands in Kuala Lumpur with an impressive list of guest speakers and much promise for interesting ideas. The theme for the two-day even is (perhaps unsurprisingly) “Web Innovation in Asia” and (perhaps also unsurprisingly) the focus will be on mobile applications, cloud computing and location-based services. Guest speakers will arrive from across the region and beyond, representing companies like Google, Yahoo, TechCrunch, Digg and Amazon.

The inaugural OWA in Seoul in 2008 was a roaring success with over 500 participants, and 2010 marks its first landing in Southeast Asia (first of many, hopefully). If you’re at all involved with the web and interested in what its Asian future will look like, it could be worth dropping by Crowne Plaza Mutiara Hotel, KL, on 13-14 July.

via Malaysia Entrepreneurs and SGEntrepreneurs

ASEANpreneurs Day 2010 in Singapore


Entrepreneurs from across Southeast Asia will gather in Singapore on 26 May to show off their various visions for the region’s future and discuss whether ASEAN could become the next Silicon Valley (well yes, as long as it has Silicon Valley’s freedoms too). The event hopes to draw on ASEAN’s diversity and youth to empower those creative and brave enough to bring their plans into reality.

There will be an awards ceremony for the digital media competition ASEAN Ideas Canvas and a celebration of the success of the ASEAN Youth Leaders’ Network, followed by a panel discussion with guest speakers and a Break Out session to give entrepreneurs the chance to interact and discuss their ideas with other like minded visionaries.

The event will be held on Wed 26 May from 4-6PM, and admission is free with registration.

full details: and SGEntrepreneurs

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