Indonesia’s Association for Economic and Social Study and Development (PERSEPSI) and its MSME members are the primary beneficiaries of this CTIF technical assistance mandate focused on building resilient e-commerce enterprises in the Asia Pacific region in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
PERSEPSI is a non-governmental organization based in Klaten, Central Java. It aims to support sustainable and inclusive economic development in the communities in which it works and has worked with over 1000 women-led MSMEs in sectors including agriculture, processed food, handicrafts, and services. PERSEPSI considers gender equality and environmental sustainability among its core values and operating principles.
CTIF’s technical assistance to PERSEPSI and its MSME members will include designing and delivering training modules focused on women’s entrepreneurship, creating and managing an online business, digital marketing, and environmentally sustainable business practices.
Problem Being Addressed by CTIF
Central Java is Indonesia’s third most populous province, home to over 34 million people. It is known for its creative arts, such as batik and textiles, performing arts, tourism, and cuisine. It also remains a largely agricultural sub-economy, with rice being its primary food crop.
For female micro-entrepreneurs in Central Java who only operate physical stores or kiosks, many of whom have low digital literacy and marketing skills, the social distancing measures put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic have meant a complete loss of revenues. Expanding the digital literacy of such entrepreneurs and assisting them with selling their products online can help keep women-led MSMEs afloat amidst the current global pandemic and beyond.
Evidence suggests that the sectors greatly affected by the pandemic have been industries that predominantly employ women, such as hospitality, garments, and apparel. Many women also work in the informal sector, giving them little to no safety nets during economic downturns. The task of balancing household obligations with business-related responsibilities also falls heavily on women. This technical assistance mandate, therefore, pays particular attention to female entrepreneurs to help them address such challenges.
Mindful of the possible negative environmental impact of some of the businesses of PERSEPSI’s MSME members, this mandate also includes a training module for MSMEs that will facilitate their adoption of environmentally sustainable business practices.