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Indonesian start-ups merge to support digitisation of SMEs

According to a recent report, four Indonesian SaaS platform-based start-ups merged to create a platform that will support SMEs through digitisation and human resources and financial management.

Mekari aims to increase the productivity of SMEs in the country through significant technology adoption.

Digitising SMEs for a stronger economy

This move was in response to the government’s plan of digitising eight million SMEs within this year.

According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Communication and Information, only 6.5 million out of a total of 59.2 million SMEs have been digitised.

A modern solution was needed to enhance the business of Indonesian SMEs, hence Mekari was born.

The merged start-up will provide help in cloud-based human resources management and financial management.

Moreover, it will focus on providing a more affordable SaaS option that would address the needs of the SMEs.

Based on statistics from 2017, SMEs contribute 64% or about US$ 60 Million every year to Indonesia’s economy.

However, based on findings by global management consultants, the acceleration of economic growth in Indonesia is hindered by the low number of SMEs that utilise digitisation in their businesses.

Thus, the need to boost the country’s SMEs.

Empowering fishermen with digital tech

In other news, an Indonesian fishery start-up recently won in the grand final round of the Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge for its use of digital technology in helping Indonesian fishermen.

Aruna is a platform that improves the livelihoods of fishermen by providing them with better market access and fairer trading opportunities.

The event was jointly organised by a Chinese e-payment giant and the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), which is the NUS Enterprise.

The start-up’s platform aims to reduce transaction cost by connecting the fishermen to potential customers.

They can help the fishermen and the buyers alike as they can increase the fishermen’s selling prices by as much as 20% while the buyers can pay up to 15% less.

This platform has already served 1,701 fishermen in 16 provinces in Indonesia.

Prizes for the finalists

The start-up was ecstatic over their first international win, which recognises their work and will now work on further growing their team in order to help more fishermen out of poverty.

Aruna will receive a total of S$60,000 as grand finals winner while the other eight finalists from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia will receive S$10,000 each.

All of the finalists will be given support from the organisers and other supporting partners to further develop their ideas.

On top of the cash prize, the winner and all other finalists will also benefit from the 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion programme.

The training programme aims to support the cultivation of 10,000 technology experts in emerging markets from both public and private sectors over the next 10 years.

Since its launch in October 2018, the 10×1000 programme has conducted preliminary surveys to optimise its training modules and has hosted a number of training and exchange activities.

OpenGov Asia earlier reported on Indonesia boosting the fishing sector via digitalisation.

The report highlighted that using technology in the maritime sector will increase the utilisation of Indonesia’s enormous marine wealth.


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