Jakarta, 14 March 2023 – Economic inclusion is being widely promoted as an effort to provide safe, convenient, and affordable financial services for all, especially the vulnerable. In recent years, both the public and private sectors in Indonesia have made significant efforts towards this goal. In 2018, inclusive financial regulations were introduced to improve financial access for those in remote areas and people with disabilities. The Financial Services Authority also implemented inclusive banking regulations, encouraging banks to offer more services such as low-cost savings accounts, streamlined account opening procedures, and digitized financial services. These efforts have led to significant progress in improving economic inclusion, particularly in terms of financial access. The World Bank reports that the number of Indonesian citizens with access to formal financial services increased from 36 percent in 2011 to 76 percent in 2018.
Despite the implementation of various initiatives and practices, people with disabilities in Indonesia still face challenges, including limited financial access, lack of proper education and training, and negative stereotypes and stigma. They belong to the vulnerable groups in the SME sector that Indonesia’s financial inclusion efforts focus on. In recent years, the government has taken additional steps to support these groups, as reflected in the statement by Angkie Yudistia, the Special Envoy of the Indonesian President, who stated that, “people with disabilities are entitled to support, protection, and the fulfillment of their human rights. Inclusive development should be supported not only by infrastructure development and economic growth but also by the quality of human resources”. (Kompas, 2021).
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, Youth Business International and YCAB Foundation, held a talk show featuring inspiring women leaders who are passionate about promoting gender empowerment and equality, in line with this year’s theme of accelerating equality and empowerment. The event took place on March 14, 2023, in Jakarta, and is part of the ongoing Covid-19 Economic Recovery 2.0 program, which aims to support young entrepreneurs aged 18-35, including people with disabilities, through financial literacy and digital marketing training. The program uses an online approach through YCAB Foundation’s Ibu Harta chatbot, with a Learning Management System to monitor progress, followed by an offline approach to provide business coaching and capital support for selected entrepreneurs. The program has already reached over 11,000 young entrepreneurs throughout Indonesia in its first year.
“More than 282 million young people worldwide are not enrolled in education, training, and/or employment, and the recent pandemic has further impacted. Standard Chartered’s Futuremakers is our global initiative to combat inequality by promoting greater economic inclusion in markets we operate in. Futuremakers assists disadvantaged young people aged 35 and under, particularly girls and people with visual impairments, to learn new skills and increase their chances of finding work or starting their own businesses. We at Standard Chartered believe that everyone deserves a second chance.” -Diana Mudadalam, Head of Corporate Affairs & Brand and Marketing, Indonesia and ASEAN Market (AU,BN,PH), Standard Chartered
“People with disabilities and women have enormous potential to drive inclusive economic growth and uplift their communities if they are given the right support to overcome barriers and access entrepreneurship. It is brilliant to see our member YCAB Foundation provide inclusive and accessible entrepreneurship support to these groups as part of our Futuremakers programme, supported by Standard Chartered Foundation, and we can’t wait to hear the success stories coming out of this programme.” -Emilia McElvenney, Director of Development and Programmes, Youth Business International
“In Indonesia, there is growing recognition of the potential of entrepreneurs with disabilities to drive economic empowerment. However, concerted efforts are needed to address the challenges that currently hinder disabled entrepreneurs from realizing their full potential and creating a more inclusive economy. In this, the Covid-19 Economic Recovery 2.0 program aims to facilitate collaboration and networking, offer inclusive learning opportunities, and improve financial access. With these efforts, it is hoped that more disabled entrepreneurs will be empowered to contribute to the economy and society as a whole, and that greater progress can be made towards a more equitable and inclusive Indonesia.”
“Through education and innovative financing, we are committed to supporting young entrepreneurs and promoting economic growth. We recognize the significance of economic inclusion in providing equal access to education and improving the welfare of young people, including those with disabilities,” said Veronica Colondam, Founder and CEO of YCAB Foundation.