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UberEntrepreneur: Uber Indonesia’s New-Found Support for Entrepreneurial Drivers

Uber is taking on a new approach to creating shared value and enriching the communities they serve.
By: Siti Asylla Mulia

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Founded in 2011 by a Harvard Business School graduate,Nadiem Makarim, Go-Jek has established itself as the primary ride sharing, food delivery service and errand services app in Indonesia. Some of the errand services provided range from personal courier services to home cleaning services. Go-Jek has become the number 1 app that every Indonesian installs on their smartphones and it has also won 95% of the nation’s online food delivery market share. Because of Go Jek’s dominance, Uber has had to step up their game to win the hearts of local drivers to try to win some of that market share and they have cleverly seized the opportunity of the growth in interest in entrepreneurial endeavors across the country. In effect, not only is the strategy appealing for entrepreneurial drivers, but its also sending a message to customers that even though Uber’s a foreign competitor, but it’s attempting to create shared value and enrich the communities in cities they’ve chosen to do business in.

Whereas two of Uber’s competitors, Go-Jek and Grabike, gives daily bonuses for their full-time drivers, Uber took a different approach and offers time flexibility for their drivers to build their own businesses. Uber Indonesia stated that 61% of its drivers work under 10 hours per week, and 46% of its drivers joined Uber for its flexibility. To strengthen its position, Uber launched a program called UberEntrepreneur. Through this program, Uber has started to host free entrepreneurial workshops for drivers and offered to share resources provided by their e-commerce and financial institutions partners.

“UberEntrepreneur is a concrete example of our commitment and drive of our company to support Indonesian entrepreneurs that we attempt through two ways of support, which are expanding their business network and entrepreneurial workshops,” says John Colombo, Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs of Uber Indonesia.

For their workshops, Uber partnered with Excellerate Labs and Kelola, a financial planning app, in giving business development workshops throughout the months of October and November in three major Indonesian cities. Another unique initiative that the subdivision launched was an addition of a lightbulb icon next to the photo and name of the drivers that are registered entrepreneurs in Uber. In some cities, the drivers are even given identity cards showing that they own a business.

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Developing drivers, Uber launches the program UberEntrepreneur so drivers can earn a side income (doc. REUTERS/netz.id)

John explains that this feature is added to expand the drivers’ network further by notifying the rider that he/she owns a business, which will in hopes create meaningful conversations, business connections, potential growth opportunities, and most importantly, keep up the driver’s drive and spirit for his own business.

Another ingenious idea also attempts to actively engage riders to actively identify current Uber drivers who could potentially join the program. Riders now have the ability to empower aspiring/current entrepreneurs with the incentive of earning UberCredits. Lets say for example a rider has a meaningful conversation about a driver’s venture, he or she could register the driver to the UberEntrepreneur program by visiting a unique URL at t.uber.com/entrepreneurindo. The top 10 riders who registered the most drivers will earn Rp. 200,000 ($15 USD) worth of UberCredits that they can use for future rides and food delivery orders. The driver also benefits from the registration by the rider as he/she will now be notified on UberEntrepreneur’s future workshops and programs.

Uber claimed that as of October 2017, at least 8,400 of their drivers has joined the program. The program UberEntrepreneur itself has also been supported by BRI Bank, a national bank, and the Indonesian government through the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and the entrepreneurial development program by the Ministry of Economy.

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