Through the course of the pandemic, Bali has been struggling to achieve economic recovery due to its heavy reliance on tourism. While international borders remain closed, the island has become somewhat of a ghost town clinging to dear life as businesses struggle and many people remain unemployed. The Funding is an initiative in the form of an entrepreneurship competition and reality web series created to inspire, educate, and support new or struggling business owners and young entrepreneurs in Bali.
As one of the top tourist destinations in the world, the pandemic hasn’t been too kind to Bali and its people. Since 80% of Bali’s economy rely on tourism, the economy has dropped significantly during the pandemic due to virtually zero international tourism. That and the inability for businesses to reinvent and adapt their business model to the situation have led thousands of people losing their jobs and many businesses struggling to survive – or have closed down completely. Other than providing basic needs and money donations, there has also been very little help from the government and private organisations to support these businesses and the people.
This is where The Funding comes into play. Founded by Wayne Thompson, The Funding is a multi-purpose online platform in the form of a reality web series about entrepreneurship and start-ups starting in the wake of the New Normal. Seeing as how the pandemic has affected the economy worldwide, Wayne wanted to take part in creating a positive change for those affected during these unprecedented times. Wayne wanted to create a platform that can help struggling businesses and young entrepreneurs develop, navigate and adapt their businesses during the pandemic through education and entertainment. Hence, the idea for The Funding was born.
Originally from New York, Wayne Thompson has an Associate’s Degree in Communication from Westchester Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Columbia University and a Master’s Degree in Economics from Georgia Tech University. He has mentored at the Advanced Technology Development Centre (ATDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and is the Founder of Expi, an entrepreneurial technology start-up for sourcing local and authentic experiences, based in New York.
As a recurring visitor of the island, Wayne saw how harsh the pandemic has affected Bali’s economy and its people. He realised how much potential young entrepreneurs and businesses in Bali have but saw that many lacked the necessary resources and outlets to showcase their innovations. He was also inspired by how the Balinese people have remained hopeful during these tough times even though the pandemic. That is why he decided to choose Bali as the initial location (the first of many, Wayne hopes) to launch The Funding.
“True gratitude can only be realised through the act of giving. So, give graciously…” said Wayne.
What is The Funding?
Taking the form of a reality web series, The Funding’s content will primarily focus on new and existing business start-ups that will also highlight the various parts of entrepreneurship including personal growth, business development and sustainability. The web series will provide social exposure for these start-ups and businesses and give inspiration to viewers as well as demonstrate the ups and downs of business development, which will be broadcasted through The Funding’s YouTube and Instagram platforms.
Reflecting on the current situation, The Funding aims to create heart-warming content that can give viewers hope as well as giving back to hopeful citizens. The Funding also hopes to educate and inspire viewers watching the series, where they’ll also be able to gain insight about start-ups, find inspiration and be educated about finance and entrepreneurship. They also aim to show viewers the reality of Bali’s current situation and how the economy has been impacted by the crisis.
The Funding will host a pitch event on Saturday, 11 September 2021, where they invite aspiring entrepreneurs aged 18-40 to come and pitch their business ideas for a chance to win a spot in The Funding Competition (details below). Wayne and his team will then choose ten qualified participants that have registered through online submissions, where these ten lucky individuals must be willing to be on camera for at least a month. They will then receive an initial investment of $1,000 each and a personalised business mentorship, with a chance to win a grand prize of a $10,000 capital investment.
What’s great about this project is that the chosen participants must show clear intent of what they will do with the investment for their business, ensuring that the investments are put to good use to advance their business. The business types will vary according to scalability, innovation and individual product or service knowledge. There will be five categories you can submit your business ideas to, namely Technology, Sustainability, Photography/Videography, Craft and Culinary.
The Funding’s Show Content
In addition to the web series, where they will follow these chosen entrepreneurs as they develop their businesses, The Funding will also produce Podcasts featuring guest speakers such as individuals who are successfully running start-ups; individuals with significant experiences with failed businesses that have overcome the hardships; individuals who are currently building and running start-ups; business owners of big companies, websites, factories, etc.; skilled professionals such as specialists, managers, and directors of different departments that are currently running businesses.
The content will also feature daily Vlogs that share knowledge from different books, personal experiences, business experiences, advice and answers to general business questions.
Goals for the Future?
The Funding hopes that once their first project in Bali proves to be a success that they can bring The Funding to other places in the globe that need help like Bali so that they can make a much-needed difference there as well.
The Funding Pitch Event
Date: Saturday, 11 September 2021
Time: 9am – 6pm (different time slots will be assigned). The closing event at 5.30pm will feature a surprise performance.
Location: Jimbaran Hub – Jl. Karang Mas, Jimbaran (https://g.page/jimbaranhub?share)
Requirements: (1) Have your new or current business idea clear; (2) Send your name and email via WhatsApp (wa.me/62859106525999); (3) Submit your online application via The Funding website before the event (the-funding.com and s.id/TheFunding_Reg).
Time slots will be assigned on arrival. Even if you won’t be pitching your idea, anyone is welcomed to attend the pitch event and enjoy a full day of business-related fun and activities. Health and safety protocols will be implemented for the comfort of all attendees.
To keep up with updates on The Funding, follow their social channels: