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Sulawesi Economic Development Strategy Project (SEDS)

Engaging Indonesian Students to Become Entrepreneurs 

Humber’s Sulawesi Economic Development Strategy (SEDS) works alongside seven universities in Indonesia to improve their curriculum and teaching methods in entrepreneurship. The five year program develops the creative and business skills of students in the classroom, while also provides on-campus hubs for students to explore entrepreneurship on their own. Funded by the Government of Canada and Humber College, the $4.6 CAD million project is improving sustainable management and growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and fostering networks among university, government, business and other entrepreneurial stakeholders.

SEDs video

  • 255 million people
  • 7th largest country in the world if you include sea and land area
  • 14,000 islands; of which only 6,000 inhabited
  • The distance between Indonesia’s most western point to its most eastern spans 5,271 kilometers. To put that in Canadian terms, the distance between Victoria, BC and St. John’s, Newfoundland is 5,062 km. 
  • 16th largest economy in the world 
  • 43% of its population live on less than $2 a day
  • 45% of the country’s working age women are employed formally, while another 45% are employed in non-formal environments such as domestic or transient labour (farming) or self-employment. The primary reason for this is women tend not to be educated enough to meet the qualifications demanded of the labour market
  • 31% of firms have women in top management
  • 9% of women with access to the Internet
  • 14% of households headed by women

SEDS By the Number

  • More than 7,000 students have studied the new entrepreneurship curriculum
  • 18% of them have started a new business (that’s 1,260 businesses started!)
  • ½ of the new businesses have created at least 1 job
  • The average monthly revenue of student start-up is about $300 
  • 94% of students that take the course can name a business best practice on the topic of gender, governance and the environment  
  • 83% of students are satisfied with the new entrepreneurship courses

Project Partners



  • South Sulawesi: Hasanuddin University, Makassar State University, Muhammadiyah University Makassar
  • North Sulawesi: DeLa Salle Catholic University, Klabat University, Manado State University, Sam Ratulangi University

What is innovative about SEDS?



  1. Student-centered learning
  2. An applied learning approach
  3. Designing curriculum across faculties
  4. Involving industry and entrepreneurs on campus
  5. Videos of successful student entrepreneurs as motivational tools
  6. Networking seminars across universities
  7. Providing additional, non-academic support to students to encourage entrepreneurship development
  8. The use of social media on campus to promote business competitions

Project Highlights

Applied Entrepreneurship Curriculum Development

More than 100 Indonesian lecturers (approximately 50% female) completed three workshops on "Design and Delivery of Applied Entrepreneurship Curriculum" facilitated by Canadian and Indonesian experts. Lecturers are particularly keen to understand and use a “student-centered learning” approach and applied teaching techniques. Each university developed new or improved entrepreneurship curricula suited to its unique context. In many courses, students will develop a business idea and create a feasible business plan using the Business Model Canvass. Lecturers also teach new concepts such as “Triple Bottom Line”, “Corporate Social Responsibility”, “Green Entrepreneurship”, Business Ethics and gender equality issues. 

As of May 2016, more than 7,000 students (56% female) had enrolled in new entrepreneurship courses in a wide range of study programs and faculties such as Chemistry, Pharmacy, Forestry, Engineering, Computer Science, Art and Design, Psychology, Law and Teaching Studies, Economics and Business, Agriculture, Animal Science and Fisheries. Some faculties have expanded entrepreneurship to a 2nd semester and some elective entrepreneurship courses have become compulsory.

Business Centres on Campus

SEDS universities participated in three workshops to establish a Business/Entrepreneurship Centre. UNM Entrepreneurship Centre was functioning at the beginning of SEDS and four more have been established: UNISMUH Business Centre (UBC), UNIKA De la Salle E’ship Centre, UNIMA-Humber Entrepreneurship Centre (UHEC) and UNSRAT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (IEC). SEDS partners prepared Strategic Plans for the successful and sustainable operation of their centres. More than 30 SEDS lecturers are mentoring and coaching more than 100 students. Many students are already seeing their business revenues increase.  

Entrepreneurship Events

To date, more than 4,500 students have participated in various entrepreneurship events on campus. UNIKA de la Salle offered their “Connected Program”, which is compulsory for economic and agriculture students. The Connected program takes place throughout their 4 years of study and each student must start a business in order to graduate. All partners held inter-faculty or faculty-specific Marketplace Expos for students to promote their business ideas and prototypes. Other activities included Business Competitions, seminars, business advice, incubation and training student entrepreneurs often in conjunction with the Ministry of Higher Education’s Student Entrepreneurship Program. UNSRAT and UNHAS have established Student Entrepreneurship groups involving more 540 students. The multi-faculty Student Entrepreneur Community at UNSRAT operates more than 20 food stalls as an incubation activity.

Entrepreneurship Networking

SEDS conducted a Rektors’ Forum for SEDS partner universities in Manado and Makassar in April 2016. SEDS lecturers participated in two Networking Seminars in Manado and Makassar on the topics of ‘Sharing and Critiquing New Applied Entrepreneurship Curricula’ and ‘Sharing and Critiquing Business/Entrepreneurship Centre Strategic Plans.’ In 2014, 28 SEDS lecturers visited Canada to observe current teaching techniques, innovative approaches to entrepreneurship training, different models of business incubators and business support services especially for youth and women. In 2015, 35 lecturers participated in a Benchmarking Visit to leading entrepreneurship universities and institutions in Java to learn about their best practices. 

Lecturers network informally across the universities and regularly use the SEDS Facebook page and other social media channels for sharing news, ideas and resources. In July 2015, SEDS sponsored an Entrepreneurship Networking Event in Makassar and Manado for our university partners, government, banks and private sector. In May 2016, UNKLAB held a fundraising event with their successful entrepreneur alumni to gain support for establishing UNKLAB Business and Entrepreneurship Centre (UBEC). Several universities have created partnerships with banks and private companies in support of their entrepreneurship programs.

New Canadian Ambassador Visits Humber’s Project in Indonesia

Canada’s new Ambassador to Indonesia, His Excellency Peter MacArthur, met with students and staff from Humber’s Sulawesi Economic Development Strategy (SEDS) project in Indonesia to see an example of international cooperation in action.

MacArthur saw first-hand how students from the SEDS project are thriving in their new businesses showcased at the Universitas Hasanuddin (UNHAS) Marketplace Expo. He visited the stalls of several entrepreneurs selling everything from vegetable-based ice cream, to an app for home security – to organic fertilizer. MacArthur recognized the significance of SEDS in building the capacity of youth in entrepreneurship and took the opportunity to tour the newly renovated business center.

“Indonesia is a remarkable country and one of Canada’s most important partners in the Asia Pacific region,” said Ambassador MacArthur. “Our two countries value pluralism and democracy, and a commitment to sustainable economic growth through facilitation of small businesses, innovation and education to help build a stronger middle class.”

Humber works alongside seven universities in Indonesia to improve their curriculum and teaching methods in entrepreneurship. The five year program develops the creative and business skills of students in the classroom, while also provides on-campus hubs for students to explore entrepreneurship on their own.