Integrating digital aspects, this program targets 10,000 young female entrepreneurs, in Greater Jakarta, Banten, West, and Central Java.
Standard Chartered Foundation, YCAB Foundation and Youth Business International has announced the launching of a new program, the Covid-19 Economic Recovery Programme, to support young people, particularly women MSME entrepreneurs, to recover from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This program is part of Futuremakers, the Standard Chartered Foundation’s global initiative to address inequality by promoting economic inclusion for young people, including those affected by Covid-19.
Delivered by YCAB Foundation and Youth Business International (YBI) and sponsored by Standard Chartered Foundation, the Covid-19 Economic Recovery Programme aims to support young people between 18-35 years of age whose businesses have been adversely impacted by the current challenging economic environment. Along with the latest methodology, this program integrates digital elements through the development of an educational learning system that features a Chatbot with a Learning Management System (LMS) and an embedded Helpline. Specifically designed to cater to entrepreneurs with low digital literacy, this digital tool leverages the WhatsApp platform for habitual and ease of use reasons. Additional modules that complement basic financial literacy training are also easily accessible, which include information related to Covid-19 (health protocols & vaccination updates), stress management, and training on how to transform their business.
In addition to the technological support, financial literacy training, as well as access to capital, support, and group mentoring sessions are also planned to be provided to 10,000 selected young women entrepreneurs in 4 provinces, namely the JABODETABEK area, Banten, West Java, and Central Java, as a form of holistic assistance for those who got hit the hardest by the crisis from the pandemic.
Diana Mudadalam, Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing Indonesia & ASEAN Markets (Australia, Brunei, the Philippines), Standard Chartered said, “Looking at the current conditions of MSME players, young entrepreneurs need all the support they can get to help them get back on their feet after being hit by the pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the Bank has rolled out an Emergency Relief program for Covid-19 for Indonesia in the amount of IDR7.1 billion. We are optimistic that the Covid-19 Economic Recovery Programme which will be rolled out this year will have a positive impact and can be a catalyst for young entrepreneurs and Indonesian MSMEs to recover and contribute to the national economic recovery.”
“After years of working on improving well-being, we are saddened to see the setbacks caused by this pandemic. That is why we are excited to be part of this global initiative in taking the necessary first steps towards recovery and renewed growth. Through education and innovative financing, we are committed to supporting young female entrepreneurs to contribute to economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.” Explained Veronica Colondam, CEO of the YCAB Foundation.
“The continuing impact of the pandemic continues to cripple the economy and disrupt normal business operations, with young entrepreneurs, especially those running small businesses and those from vulnerable communities, being the hardest hit sectors. I appreciate the initiatives run and funded by the Standard Chartered Foundation which helps us expand and continue our effort to recover the economy and provide MSME with the support that they need to survive, thrive and contribute towards a more prosperous, more diverse, and resilient economy for everyone,” said Anita Tiessen, CEO of Youth Business International.
The Covid-19 pandemic – lasting for almost 2 years now – has disrupted the global economy, including Indonesia. MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) are hit the hardest, especially those from vulnerable communities, which are dominated by young people (aged 18-35 years) and women. Women-led businesses, which make up 64.5% of MSMEs in Indonesia, still face obstacles and challenges that limit them from successfully building and developing businesses. MSMEs have important roles in post-COVID economic recovery, with 60.3% contribution towards the Indonesian GDP. However, these women entrepreneurs often experience difficulties in setting up and managing their businesses, compared to men. The women entrepreneurs assisted by the YCAB Foundation reported losses of up to 70% since the pandemic began.
“Before the pandemic hit, my two businesses; a small food stall and a tailoring business were doing well. Last year, the two businesses struggled because of the National Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB). In addition, there was a change in the buyers’ behaviour, where many of my loyal customers became unemployed. To rebuild and maintain my business, I need access to financial support and supplement with new skills. Therefore, I am very happy with the Covid-19 Economic Recovery Program for MSME players like me,” said Sepitowati, a micro-business owner in Indonesia.
Participants of this program are hoped to be the catalyst of national economic recovery as they are the fundamental factors of Indonesia’s economic dynamic. The Covid-19 Economic Recovery Program is open for registration until November 30, 2021.