In Indonesia, ‘gotong royong’ which translates into working together in a community is a widely familiar concept. That is also the rationale behind the concept of crowdsourcing, a phenomenon that has gained significant traction globally over the past decade. Leveraging upon the strength, skills, and scalability of a crowd, this innovative approach is benefitting both big businesses and start-ups, as well as a horde of talented individuals pitching for new exciting opportunities.
In Indonesia as well, crowdsourcing has kicked off but remains niche. The start-up space however is actively pursuing crowdsourcing, or its offshoot crowdfunding, to thrive in the competitive space. While crowdsourcing, as such, remains in its infancy, crowdfunding is gaining significant attention, as even Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority has taken note and is apparently working on a regulation covering crowdfunding. The idea is to stimulate venture capitalism for the emerging tech start-up space in Indonesia, therefore expecting to make it easier for businesses to avail seed funding, as well facilitate crowd-funding, among new sources of funding.
MarkPlus Insight Youth Women and Netizen Study in 2014, based on a FGD, shows that youth in Indonesia are being increasingly drawn towards entrepreneurial ventures. The urban youth in Indonesia is increasingly keen in ‘working independently’ and ‘getting rich faster’ and a thriving start-up culture would definitely aid this ambition. In any case, only 1.6% of the productive-population of about 65 million Indonesians is engaged in entrepreneurial activities, lower than the global average of 2%.
Crowd-funding could provide a workable solution to help thrive start-ups in Indonesia. Though crowdfunding platforms have been available in Indonesia for almost half a decade or so, most of the early ones have either stalled operations or simply gotten offline. Among those active, most of the crowdfunding platforms have a social purpose, which also potentially garners greater participation from community. For example, KitaBisa, a crowdfunding platform’s Momentum Pergerakan SaveMaster project which collected a total of IDR 137 million (US$10,600) to help save a school building from shutting down. There are other platforms active in the health and environmental sectors but for start-ups to raise money through crowd-funding, along with an exciting product/service, a compelling business proposition also needs to be presented, for example, in the form of some monetary rewards or by raising equity capital.