JAKARTA – On January 16, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Nikel Academy, an online training provider established by PT Impact Credit Solutions, announced the launch of a new program to support women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to access financing and grow their businesses.
Financial Inclusion of Women-Led Small and Medium Enterprises (FINCLUSION for W-SMEs) is a $1.2 million activity that aims to mobilize $50 million in lending to women-owned SMEs in Indonesia.
Women own almost half of all Indonesian small and medium enterprises (SMEs). However, these women often have difficulty borrowing money to invest in their businesses. Most banks do not have a strategy to target the SME sector or to address the specific challenges of women-led SMEs. Women SME owners in Indonesia also face barriers as entrepreneurs, including availability of financial services, procedures to acquire loans, digital literacy, and balancing business needs with household responsibilities.
To address these issues, FINCLUSION will support women-led SMEs to access information about financial products and provide networking opportunities, business training, and digital tools, while also supporting local partner banks with digital loan origination services. This support will lead to improved access to loans for women to invest in their businesses.
“The United States, through USAID, is committed to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, including in terms of economic opportunities,” said USAID Indonesia Acting Mission Director Erin Nicholson. “I’m excited to partner with Nikel Academy to empower Indonesia’s women-owned small and medium businesses.”
The partnership has developed a public platform for financial and digital training, as well as a private platform to target selected women SME owners nominated by their banks for additional training, leading to a loan offer. Nikel Academy will partner with local banks to participate in its training programs and get commitments from them to allocate and disburse loans to women-led SMEs.
“Nikel sees tremendous opportunity in enabling women-led SMEs to get better access to credit and looks forward to collaborating with local partners to unlock this potential,” said Reinier Musters, President Director of PT Impact Credit Solutions.
This new partnership will accelerate inclusive economic growth, while expanding public-private capacity and investing in women’s economic empowerment.
Women SME owners can visit the FINCLUSION public platform in https://finclusion.id/id/ (Bahasa Indonesia) or https://finclusion.id/en/ (English) to access educational content and tools for business growth.