The webinar was held on the 24th of February, 2021 to discuss the underlying needs of the initiative of fintech and start-ups meets sustainability. The discussion is going to feed into the initial scope for developing a private trust fund that aims to bridge the financing needs of SMEs to develop their ideas on tech-based sustainable business models that benefit both the environment and society. The discussion started at 13:00 (GMT+7) and lasted for two hours. Panellists from IDH, Ford Foundation, Gojek were present to listen to SMEs and their pitch. The SMEs which were present are Tastygreen, Biteback, Sentrafarm, Gringgo, TREVI, Badami and YUKK.
The SMEs took turns in their presentations introducing their business, their revenue, challenges and needs for support. Tastygreen presented first but was unable to follow the presentation guidance. Biteback is an insect biorefining company, which aims to reduce dependence on palm oil by harvesting edible insects that feed on non-competing livestock feed. Sentrafarm is the first indoor vertical farming business in Indonesia that would reduce water usage, pesticide usage, and reduce transport costs. Gringgo Tech company utilizes technological innovation and solutions to achieve sustainable development goals and has created products in regards to waste management.
Some SMEs are not yet focusing on environmental causes but have the potential to generate a positive impact on the environment. TREVI is a consultative partner for travelling needs through continuous investments and relations to multiple agents throughout Indonesia. It has the potential to educate its vendors on environmental awareness in doing business and enhance ecotourism ecosystems. Badami is an online business that focuses on food security and digitally connects donations to people in need. It has the potential to address food waste which generates methane released into the atmosphere. YUKK is a fintech company that looks to revolutionize the retail industry with a focus on creating an omnichannel ecosystem by integrating physical and digital work using IOT technology and Augmented Reality.
The end of the presentations signified the start of the question and answer section. Farah Sofa from Ford Foundation asked questions on the biggest risk to businesses, tax compliance, and what an organization would need to flourish in 5-10 years. Martha asked a question to Gringgo on how they view the informal sector in waste management. Melissa was interested in the Biteback business model as its base is currently in Singapore.
To close the webinar, Aidy from Dala Institute and Fitrian from IDH commented on all of the participating SMEs. She comments on each of their presentations and how they could be improved or which parts of the presentations she likes. She comments about fintech characteristics and relationship with climate impact, their financial needs in terms of the amount and the impact channel (through a behavioural change of vendors and clients), and the importance of connectivity across start-ups for impact multiplication and potential for collaboration. Fitrian highlighted the importance of having a long term exit strategy. Would a MNE replicate their work and increase their scale, or is there local entity management? He also highlighted the importance of having impact investments and business transparency.
To close Aidy from Dala Institute is planning to develop a curriculum to assist key selected fintechs and startups in Indonesia to discover their potential so that they have a positive impact on climate, environment and society more broadly.