Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of the Indonesian economy. This is indicated by data from the Indonesian Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs which shows that the number of MSMEs in Indonesia in 2019 was 65.46 million. This amount represents 99.99% of the total business units in Indonesia. However, MSMEs face major obstacles in accessing financial services.

Savings and Loan Cooperatives (S&L Cooperatives) are an alternative source of funding for financial access for MSMEs in Indonesia. S&L cooperatives also make it easier to obtain loans compared to other financial institutions by providing, for example, relief of terms and loan disbursement, affordability of S&L cooperatives, and other services other than loans provided by S&L cooperatives.

DEFINIT has an interest, expertise, and long experience in research on MSMEs and has made a significant contribution to decision-making by policymakers at both national and international levels. DEFINIT also has extensive expertise and experience in the financial inclusion field, including MSME financial inclusion. With this expertise and experience, DEFINIT was trusted by the World Bank in 2015 to conduct a study on “Women Entrepreneurs in Indonesia,” with focused lens on the role of S&L cooperatives as a provider of capital for MSME actors in Indonesia.

The research conducted in 2015 involved respondents spread across seven provinces in Indonesia, namely North Sulawesi, DKI Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, East Nusa Tenggara, and South Sulawesi. DEFINIT as a research institution has a pool of resources spread across almost all provinces in Indonesia, making it easier for DEFINIT to mobilize field teams. The total respondents obtained in this survey consisted of 756 members from 54 selected cooperatives in 13 districts/cities in Indonesia.

With strong expertise in data analytics, DEFINIT processed the data from the survey and found that there were as many as 15% of women entrepreneurs classified as a “growth-oriented” group, which is a group that has great opportunities to develop their business and can improve the welfare of women, by employing them. In addition, the survey results indicate that there are groups that are classified as “the missing target,” which are groups that have not been served by various existing intervention programs, and need more attention by policymakers.

The results of this study have become very useful findings that enable for The World Bank to advice policy recommendations and have been presented to Bappenas, Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture, Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs, TNP2K, other ministries, associations, other research institutions for accelerating women entrepreneurs in Indonesia to be more competitive and productive. Study results and recommendations can be read in full in the The World Bank study report which can be accessed through the following link https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/738881467782741648/pdf/AUS5568-P147245-PUBLIC-WomenEntrepreneursinIndonesia-1.pdf.

DEFINIT has also completed other various researches and consultancy which resulted in recommendations that became the basis for consideration of decision-making by policymakers. The results of the researches and consultancy have provided perspectives and considerations for decision-making so that they can provide wider benefits to the Indonesian people. DEFINIT’s various impactful studies can be viewed in more detail at the following link Research.

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