Published: 27 Dec 2021

If Indonesia wants to become a developed country, Indonesia needs to work harder to encourage the birth of more new entrepreneurs. This effort can be realized by building an ecosystem that is more conducive to the growth of new entrepreneurs and the development of businesses. Among other things, through the ease of setting up a business, access to capital, market access, including network development and mentorship schemes.

The lack of a conducive entrepreneurial ecosystem has made the number of entrepreneurs in Indonesia, according to data from the Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs, only reach 3.47% of the entire population. This number is still too small. Compare this with Singapore, which has reached 8.5%, or Malaysia and Thailand, with 4.5%.


The Ranking of the GEI

This lack of a conducive ecosystem is also reflected in the Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) ranking. According to GEI data for 2019, Indonesia still ranks 75th out of 137 countries surveyed. With this ranking, Indonesia's GEI position is still lagging behind several neighboring countries in ASEAN. For example, Singapore is ranked 27th, Malaysia 43rd, Brunei Darussalam 48th, Thailand 54th, and Vietnam 73rd.

GEI is an index that measures the quality and dynamics of a country's entrepreneurial ecosystem. This index is published by The Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI), an institution headquartered in Washington DC, United States (US). GEDI was founded by academics in the field of entrepreneurship from George Mason University, USA, the University of Pecs from Hungary, and Imperial College London and London School of Economics, both from the United Kingdom.

Referring to the GEI concept, a university is one of the institutions that play an important role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In Indonesia, there are still too few campuses capable of producing new entrepreneurs. For comparison, citing data from the Financial Times (2015), as many as 46% of Babson College MBA program graduates in the United States (US) dared to open their own business immediately after graduating from college. Likewise, as many as 34% of graduates from Stanford University, USA, also dared to go straight to business after graduating from college. Meanwhile, 28% of Harvard Business School graduates go into business directly, and 26% of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management.

To encourage more entrepreneurs who come from the university environment, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbud Ristek) held the Freedom Learning Freedom Campus program. This program involves several public and private universities. President University (PresUniv) is also involved in this program by carrying out several activities. One of them is Community Service (PKM) activities.

Last Monday-Thursday (20-23 December), Rendika Nugraha, the PresUniv lecturer who manages the PKM, explained his activities in an international seminar on community service, which was held in a hybrid. Some participants and speakers attended offline, while others attended online. In the seminar, Rendika explained his PKM activity entitled Creation of Digital Startups Based on Entrepreneurial Learning Model (ELM) to Support Jababeka Smart township Initiative. In this PKM activity, PresUniv collaborated with PT Jababeka & Co., a subsidiary of the Jababeka Group, and Fablab, an institution engaged in HR training and Industry 4.0-based business development. The program carried out by Rendika also received funding assistance from Penelitian Kebijakan Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka dan Pengabdian Masyarakat Berbasis Hasil Penelitian dan Purwarupa PTS Program, the Directorate General of Higher Education, Research and Technology for the 2021 fiscal year.


Community Behavior Change

According to Rendika, the rapid development of technology and the Covid-19 pandemic caused changes in people's behavior. They reduce the occurrence of direct interactions, including physical touch. Coordinating Minister for the Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto called it the term "low-touch and contactless economy". In such an economy, technology—especially digital technology, plays an important role.

Rendika and his PKM team took advantage of this momentum. Moreover, sometime before, Jababeka also planned to develop a smart township in the eastern corridor of Jakarta. The concept of a smart city that Jababeka will develop is a city that is not only livable but also must be able to advance the economy and improve the quality of life of its citizens. To create such a city, Jababeka requires many digital applications that are integrated and capable of solving various urban problems, such as waste problems, population administration management, business development, and even various other utility services.

From an academic point of view, said Rendika, PresUniv has designed an entrepreneurship curriculum. “In the first semester, all students are required to take this course. If there are students who are then interested in becoming entrepreneurs, they can take advanced courses in the following semesters," said Rendika. In addition to lectures, students who want to become entrepreneurs will also participate in the business incubation program at SetSail BizAcell. It is a business incubation institute founded by PresUniv in 2016 and aims to produce more entrepreneurs from the campus environment. Rendika is the Director of SetSail BizAcell.

In the PKM program this time, said Rendika, his party involved students from various study programs and the surrounding community. "We will select them. Students and the public who pass the selection will be given the training to be ready to become entrepreneurs based on digital technology," he said. So, all participants who pass the selection will be trained to turn problems into opportunities, prepare business plans, and execute them until the business starts.

During this program, all participants will be guided by mentors consisting of business practitioners, including from the Jababeka Group. By mentors, students and participants will be guided to make business proposals and present them directly to investors. If investors are interested in the proposal, they may fund the business initiated by students or participants.

Through this ELM concept, continued Rendika, all participants will be invited to develop digital-based startups or startups. Through this company, they will build various applications that are integrated with Jababeka Smart Township. "So, applications developed by students or the community must be able to answer the needs of residents who will later live in Jababeka Smart Township," explained Rendika. Through such methods, said Rendika, even before graduating, students already have businesses and manage them themselves.