ABOUT PBMT INDONESIA
Poverty is a massive issue worldwide. With more than two thirds of the world’s poor living in South East Asia, reducing poverty in this part of the world is crucial to achieving the primary Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2015. Although Asia has experienced sustained economic growth over the past three years, negative spillovers such as an ever- increasing income gap, the inability of the minority or marginalised to participate in the economic growth and mismatched or limited expansion in rural areas have exacerbated poverty in this part of the world.
In Indonesia alone, nearly 39.5 million people still live on less than US$1.25 a day and many more do not have access to institutional finance. Microfinance is recognised by the World Bank as an effective tool for alleviating poverty. Financial services such savings accounts, business financing and money transfers will enable the poor to take advantage of economic opportunities, build assets and increase their resilience against external impacts such as natural disasters, that may affect their living standards.There are several exemplary organisations endeavouring to combat the issue and one such organisation is the Perhimpunan BMT Indonesia (PBMT Indonesia).
The PBMT Indonesia was officially set up as a financial co-operative in 2005. Over the years, PBMT Indonesia has developed a responsible microfinance scheme based on profit and loss sharing. This model promotes a collaborative working relationship between PBMT Indonesia and its members. PBMT Indonesia currently holds cumulated balance sheet assets of US$800million, retains a membership base of 2.2 million and has 550 branches all across Indonesia.
However, not all of PBMT Indonesia’s work is focused on providing access to capital via microfinance. We recognise that not all underprivileged individuals are ready to be invested in and not all village ecosystems are primed to support the micro business community. Instead PBMT Indonesia dedicates substantial resources towards first raising education levels, training micro-business competency, improving healthcare and providing disaster relief for the general populous, by way of specially formulated social programmes implemented through its embedded network.
PBMT Indonesia is constantly looking to expand their social investment programmes and accomplishes this with a two-pronged approach. The first is aimed at improving the living ecosystem of the community. Essentially, programmes that deal in education and healthcare via community engagements are administered by PBMT Indonesia via their network of branches. The other is targeted at underprivileged individuals, whom PBMT Indonesia will provide with financial coaching via a non-commercial loan scheme.
The BMT model has been studied extensively by Professor Minako Sakai of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and she has published a paper detailing how BMT has served the needs of the poor in a viable manner. In October 2013, PBMT Indonesia held a small but significant event at the Singapore Management University to share their operating model with the venture philanthropic community in Singapore.
The response thus far has been very encouraging, and has prompted BMT Indonesia to establish PBMT Social Ventures in Singapore, as a fund raising entity to attracting venture philanthropic funds to support BMT Indonesia’s social investment programmes. In May 2014, PBMT Indonesia set up PBMT Social Ventures.
PBMT SOCIAL VENTURES
1 King George’s Avenue #05-00 Rehau,
Building Singapore 208557