From left to right, Jakarta’s assistant to the governor for culture and tourism Oswar Muadzin Mungkasa, head of Bank Indonesia’s museum division Dandy Indarto Seno, Citi Indonesia's country head of corporate affairs Elvera N. Makki and UNESCO Jakarta representative Hans Thulstrup at the 'Young Entrepreneur Gathering 2019' event at the Bank Indonesia Museum in West Jakarta on Friday, April 25. (JG Photo/Christian Lee)

Young Entrepreneurs to Revive Jakarta's Kota Tua


MAY 01, 2019

Jakarta. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or Unesco, and Citi Foundation hosted the Young Entrepreneur Gathering 2019 at Jakarta's Old City, or Kota Tua, on April 25-28. The event comprised a series of exhibitions, seminars and workshops to attract young enterpreneurs to develop new businesses at cultural heritage sites and tourist destinations around the country. 

The three-day event was part of Creative Youth at Indonesia Heritage Sites, a joint corporate social responsibility program by Citi Indonesia and Unesco Jakarta, funded by the Citi Foundation. The program supports a total of 400 young entrepreneurs from all around Indonesia.

During the Kota Tua event, around 100 young entrepreneurs from the creative industry showcased their products, made new connections and learn about the long history of Kota Tua, which was opened in 1620 by Dutch governor general Jan Pieterszoon Coen.

Most of these young businessmen and women have been organizing history tours to all parts of Indonesia, trying to revive traditional food and drinks in modern settings, or learning to process and blend local coffee beans.  

"We hope these young entrepreneurs can contribute to the local economy [in Kota Tua], as well as build up their own business. Our entrepreneurship training will give them competitive skills, financial access, offer more inclusivity and other resources that can lead them to success," said Elvera N. Makki, Citi Indonesia's country head of corporate affairs.

Jakarta's assistant to the governor for culture and tourism Oswar Muadzin Mungkasa said the service sector has the highest potential of growth in Indonesia’s economy.  

"Around 40 percent [of Indonesia’s GDP] comes from the service sector. Events like this have the potential to grow our economy. It’s a good mix of culture, youth and business," Oswar said last Friday.

The event was also attended by community groups engaged in education programs in culture, tradition and history, such as the Cultural and Museum Lovers of Indonesia (KPBMI).

KPBMI has a slew of programs to attract millennials to visit museums so they can better understand Indonesian culture and history.

"Young people are abandoning local culture. They're more interested in Western culture. We try to organize events to get these millennials interested again in local culture," KPBMI head Dhanu Wibowo said.

Dhanu, a millennial himself, said KPBMI tries to add modern touches to their events and products to keep young people engaged and interested. 

"We've created a mobile app that can translate ancient scripts simply by scanning the text. It can be very useful in museums," Dhanu said. 

"Young kids are also too lazy to read nowadays. They're more interested in pictures. So we've produced comic books and illustrated books to introduce them to local culture," Dhanu said.

During the Kota Tua event, KPBMI also held Javanese script classes for visitors. By the end of the classes, they were able at least to write their own names using the Sanskrit-influenced ancient script.