Jakarta – Royke Tumilaar, the president director of the state-owned bank BNI, recently called for Indonesian youths to become entrepreneurs.
According to Royke, Indonesia's entrepreneurship ratio stands at 3.47 percent. This is much lower compared to other ASEAN neighbors, such as Singapore (8.76 percent), Malaysia (4.74 percent), and Thailand (4.26 percent). There are also more available workers than jobs on the market.
"My question is: do you still wish to become a job seeker? Or do you want to shift to a job-maker mindset?" Royke said at the Entrepreneurship Before 30s seminar jointly hosted by BNI and Gadjah Mada University (UGM).
Royke said entrepreneurship – particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises – is a key economic driver. MSMEs account for 61.07 percent or Rp 8,574 trillion (about $553 million). Indonesia today is home to 65.46 million MSMEs. The sector also represents 96.9 percent of the labor absorption rate, amounting to 119.56 million workers. About 32.44 percent of the MSMEs are already in the digital ecosystem. Data also showed MSMEs' share in national export stood at 15.69 percent or Rp 339.2 trillion.
"There is still a huge room for growth for start-up businesses," Royke said.
That potential for startups is evident, among others, in Indonesia's economic growth, which is forecast to reach 4.5-5.5 percent in 2023-2024. The demand from people's lifestyle trends will also likely rise, according to Royke.
More people are accessing the internet. The BNI boss added that the green economy transition could also create business opportunities worth $10.1 trillion and open up 395 million jobs until 2030. The government is also giving tax incentives for MSMEs by granting income tax exemption to those with a turnover of less than Rp 500 million.
Royke said over 30,000 MSMEs have embraced metaverse and artificial intelligence (AI). He added that banks also take part in helping MSMEs grow. The banking sector does not only serve as an intermediary, but an ecosystem orchestrator for MSMEs by helping these enterprises become productive through assistance, coaching, and financing. Banks are also lending a hand to help these MSMEs go global (via business matching, networking, and market expansion), and also go digital with a business platform.
"From there, MSMEs can level up," Royke said.
Royke added that banks' financing assistance also comes in partnership and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, micro-loans, and commercial loan schemes.
"BNI also provides CSR assistance in the form of the development of the Wisdom Food Park UGM."
BNI and UGM have teamed up to launch a six-month ambassador program for students starting from the third semester. These BNI-UGM ambassadors will promote banking and financial literacy among students. They will introduce BNI's banking services and programs to other students.
According to Royke, this program aims to give students a better understanding of the banking and financial industry. Participants receive a monthly allowance of Rp 1.5 million for six months, while also networking with BNI's top brass. The BNI-UGM ambassadors also get a chance to have a career at BNI with the bank's recruitment programs such as ERP, ODP, etc. To join, participants must make a video on the banking solutions that students are looking for.
"The selected ambassadors [20 people with five students in each cluster] will get to learn more about leadership, as well as access internship and career opportunities at BNI," Royke said.