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Empowering Entrepreneurs in Indonesia with Digital Platforms

Many countries are grappling with the impact of the digital economy and the opportunities it presents for global growth and inclusive development in today’s rapidly changing political and economic landscape.

A significant gap has emerged between countries and firms that can seize these opportunities and those that cannot. Furthermore, the existing platforms and rules for global trade are heavily skewed in favour of large corporations, leaving few opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for roughly 80% of all businesses, to benefit from the new opportunities. This is particularly the case for young entrepreneurs, women in business and entrepreneurs from other vulnerable groups.

With this, Indonesian entrepreneurs looking to upgrade and upskill have frequently encountered a deluge of online resources. They frequently must shift through a sea of information as they seek to establish and scale their businesses, much of which is difficult to verify or may not be trustworthy.

Many Indonesian business owners want more than just advice or lessons. As per the chief marketing officer of Indonesia’s telecommunication company, they also want a support network of like-minded individuals with whom they can identify and who can assist them with their specific needs and struggles. They are also looking for local knowledge that is applicable to the Indonesian market.

This is where the EdTech platform of one of Indonesia’s multinational telecommunications conglomerates comes in. The platform aims to provide practical and technical skills to aspiring Indonesian entrepreneurs. It was created with the goal of providing practical skills to the country’s aspiring entrepreneurs through bite-sized, hyper-localized content and a strong network of mentors that can be accessed at any time and from any location via its app.

We hope that with higher awareness, we will see more coaches and mentors from various fields stepping forward to be part of this community and encourage more Indonesians to use the digital platform to further prosper in their lives.

– Chief marketing officer of Indonesia’s telecommunication company.

Furthermore, to guides and lessons on how to grow a business, the platform has a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors who can provide verified, legitimate advice on how to do so. The platform also adds a more personal touch, going beyond lesson plans to offer opportunities for private coaching sessions to new entrepreneurs.

According to the chief marketing officer, the telecommunications company hopes that by upskilling these entrepreneurs, they can drive Indonesia’s talent and skill development. She stated that this enables the telco to play a major role in Indonesia’s digitalisation journey and to aid the country’s growth through talent and skill development.

OpenGov Asia reported that an Indonesia-UK Tech Hub collaborated with a digital supply chain platform for Crafts Small Medium Enterprises (SME) and the Indonesian Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection to launch a women-based programme. The programme is designed to provide digital literacy and entrepreneurship training to support women-owned ultra-micro and micro businesses. The programme also serves as COVID-19 crisis response support for women and under-represented groups who were disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Of the 370 applicants, 102 were chosen to participate in the training programme, which was delivered from November 2020 to this year, including launch and graduation events. To ensure that as many marginalised women as possible were empowered, 56 women were kept on a reserve list to allow for any dropouts, and all of them were eventually fully included in the training programme, bringing the total number to 158.

Training was delivered virtually, with the support of local facilitators in each of Indonesia’s 6 targeted districts namely, Central Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara, Rembang and Kendal in Central Java, Central Bangka in Bangka Belitung, Cilegon in Banten and Palembang in South Sumatra.

The women-focused programme consisted of 8 training modules that addressed supply chain, digital literacy, digital marketing, the use of apps, market access in partnership with local marketplace, and financial literacy (in partnership with BTPN Syariah Bank) among other topics.

In contrast, the platform intends to broaden its offerings beyond entrepreneurship. The company is looking into creating content for creatives, hobbyists, and young professionals looking to upskill, as well as rolling out accreditation programmes for various skills that can be recognised by employers. It is also interested in entering the business-to-business sector by collaborating with corporations to allow the employees to upskill and reskill.

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