Kopernik and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Women entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia face significant challenges in pursuing economic prosperity, often confined to the small-scale, informal sector where their average incomes trail behind those of male-owned businesses. Deep-rooted cultural and social norms, such as the burden of unpaid household and care work, hinder women entrepreneurs’ educational and professional growth. In Indonesia, where micro-enterprises make up 99% of existing businesses, employing 97% of the workforce, many of these enterprises are owned by women who confront numerous obstacles when competing with their male counterparts. However, with Indonesia’s projected $130 billion digital economy by 2025, the rise of digitalization presents an opportunity for women to expand their market reach beyond current geographical boundaries.
To support women entrepreneurs, the JICA Partnership Program (JPP), in collaboration with Kopernik and ‘Aisyiyah, aims to enhance the online sales skills and competitiveness of women-led micro-enterprises in Yogyakarta Province, Indonesia. The program empowers women entrepreneurs by equipping them with digital marketing skills through training in finance, branding, online platform establishment, and management, as well as personalised monitoring and consultation. Additionally, the program includes on-the-job training for facilitators, ensuring a comprehensive approach to improving the digital sales and profits of participant entrepreneurs while boosting their confidence in running online businesses.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as the programme initiator, oversees conceptualisation, funding and resourcing, as well as monitoring and evaluation. The Program is implemented by Kopernik, drawing on the organisation’s extensive experience in implementing capacity-sharing programs for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and underserved communities across Indonesia.
‘Aisyiyah, as the National Partner, provides an extensive network of women micro-entrepreneurs who are part of their Entrepreneurship School. The training modules are integrated into the school’s curriculum to extend their impact and foster knowledge-sharing. ‘Aisyiyah also actively participates as a facilitator in training and mentoring activities, thereby boosting their own long-term capacity.
Furthermore, participants are encouraged to develop supportive networks among themselves, and other communities. The program team and trainers diligently review participants’ progress, providing monthly data-backed progress reports to all collaborators involved.