Entrepreneurship is a pathway to prosperity for Indonesia’s population of some 250 million people. The Institute of Technology Bandung (ITB) is Indonesia’s preeminent education hub for innovation, technology, engineering and business development. With its main campus situated in Bandung, ITB will help drive the next phase of Indonesia’s economic growth. Bandung could well become Indonesia’s silicon valley. With a fast train soon to connect the burgeoning capital Jakarta, Bandung can become an innovation hub: even more attractive to entrepreneurs and start-up enterprises.
We visited Bandung and ITB following a successful Australia Awards Fellowship “Overcoming barriers to developing Indonesia’s Small to Medium Enterprise Sector” Funded by the Australian Government, this program developed capacity for 15 young entrepreneurs from ITB in a six week visit to Australia. Many of these entrepreneurs are developing successful start up enterprises. We met with many of them in Bandung along with Dr Wawan Dhewanto ITB’s head of entrepreneurship. Australia has much to gain with such collaborative programs. With an emerging and prosperous middle class, Indonesians will look to Australia for needed goods and services, for example financial technology. Our meeting with ITB leaders reaffirmed a commitment to ongoing collaboration given the continuing need to develop Indonesia’s small to medium enterprise (SME) sector.