Indonesia wants to create ‘Digital Heroes’

A 3-week bootcamp organised by the Indonesian government aims to help prepare SMEs to go digital, an initiative key to the country's economic recovery.
By: | September 22, 2020

In a bid to help 10 million SMEs in Indonesia adopt digital technology in 2020, the Indonesia government is holding a three-week bootcamp for 30 selected startups that can provide services like supply chain and finance management for SMEs.

Called Pahlawan Digital (Digital Heroes) the course starts on September 23 and will select the 10 best startups out of the 30 participants as strategic partners for Indonesia’s Cooperatives and SME Ministry.

Teten Masduki, Indonesia’s Cooperatives and SME Minister, said, “They will provide not only market access [for SMEs] but also support efficient business processes and supply chains, access to financing and entrepreneurship development.”

Indonesia’s economy contracted by 5.3% in the second quarter of 2020, impacting many small businesses operating in the country. Small businesses account for more than 60% of Indonesia’s GDP and employ a majority of the labour force.

READ: Indonesian SMEs face obstacles in digitisation drive

According to Teten, the number of small businesses operating on digital platforms has reached around nine million, or 14% of all small businesses. This include one million new enterprises to have gone digital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this July, Teten had identified unstable Internet connection and high Internet costs as some of the reasons that have hindered SMEs’ efforts to go digital, while encouraging more to do so, saying that going digital will enable SMEs to access a wider market and keep themselves in business during the pandemic.