#Asia This seems to be a great week to run a small business in Indonesia

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The government and the private sectors are gearing up SMEs for the digital era — with big names such as Facebook, Bukalapak and Indosat Ooredoo involved

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This week saw the launch of several initiatives by the Indonesian government and the private sector — including tech startups — that aims to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) thrive in the increasingly competitive digital era.

On Monday, Tanah Abang Community (TACOM Indonesia) launched an e-commerce platform and listing directory for merchants in Tanah Abang, an area in Central Jakarta where textile merchants operate their business.

Called “Tanah Abang Goes Online”, the initiative is the result of a partnership with Facebook (which provides e-commerce app development) and the Indosat Ooredoo (which gives infrastructural support such as data center, mobile platform, and connectivity).

More than 20,000 merchants in Tanah Abang are expected to get on board with the initiative.

“With the ‘Tanah Abang Goes Online’ programme and full support from Facebook, TACOM hopes that Tanah Abang merchants will be able to utilise the digital world to widen the scope of their sales, make fast and safe transaction process, and increase their income,” said TACOM Indonesia CEO Primanaya Djan as quoted by DailySocial.

“We will continue on socialising the benefits of e-commerce and guide the merchants to fully optimise the benefits of the online store we provide for them,” he added.

TACOM Indonesia itself is a brand of PT Ghaniya Pradita E-commerce, an e-commerce division of Priamanaya Group who is running the day-to-day operation of several blocks in Tanah Abang.

Also Read: [Updated] Calling all Indonesian SMEs: Modalku and Sinarmas Bank want to empower you

The next day, Indonesian government’s Creative Economy Agency (BEKRAF) announced a partnership with e-commerce platform Bukalapak in a ceremony at the startup’s head office in Kemang, South Jakarta.

Aiming to increase the competitiveness of Indonesian SMEs for the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the programme — called ‘Creative Economy Heroes’ — will facilitate SMEs to implement online marketing and help them apply for copyright and intellectual property rights. It will also give them financial support, talent development, and product development.

BEKRAF also took the chance to announce that it has allocated IDR1 trillion (US$75 million) of microcredit to fund SMEs.

The funds will be allocated through national banks Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), and Bank Mandiri.

“We will also help potential startups to get funding through venture capital scheme. We will do our best to ensure that local startups will have easy access to funding,” said BEKRAF’s Deputy of Capital Access Fadjar Hutomo, who recently spoke at Echelon Indonesia 2016.

BEKRAF also currently proposing to the government to provide tax holiday for local e-commerce startups, as part of the e-commerce roadmap.

Image Credit: Matt Jones on Unsplash.com

The post This seems to be a great week to run a small business in Indonesia appeared first on e27.

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