Learn, Earn, Return

Still only 20, Iman Usman has already started two companies, runs a national youth organization and met Vice President Boediono. He’s got plenty more to do.

At the age of 10 Iman Usman set up a free library for underprivileged kids in his hometown in Padang. Photo by Ahmad Zamroni

Muhamad Iman Usman appears to just another University of Indonesia student, wearing a t-shirt and a backpack. Yet he is far from an ordinary student. Still only 20, Iman has already started two companies, been invited to meet Vice President Boediono, won an award from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and given advice to billionaire Putera Sampoerna. He has traveled to Toronto to attend the G20 meeting, and also China and Japan for other events. Three years ago he co-founded the NGO Indonesia Future Leaders with five friends that now has offices in six cities, 600 volunteer staff, 7,000 followers on Twitter and 9,100 supporters on Facebook. Continue reading

Creating an Entrepreneurial Culture

Noted businessman Chris Kanter is hoping to promote entrepreneurship through the GEPI initiative

Entrepreneurship is being developed everywhere in the world. One of the most recent initiatives is the Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia (GEPI). It is the Indonesian version of a U.S. State Department-led effort to promote and spur entrepreneurship in Indonesia. The program was first mooted by U.S. President Barack Obama in his Cairo speech in 2009 and selected Egypt for its first project. Indonesia came next. A group of local 13 business leaders, including Ciputra, Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, Sudhamek Agoeng Waspodo Sunjoto, Theodore Rachmat, aim to promote local entrepreneurs. Continue reading