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Gendered Impacts of MSME Policy Responses to COVID-19 in South East Asia (Indonesia)

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Gendered Impacts of MSME Policy Responses to COVID-19 in South East Asia (Indonesia)

Gendered Impacts of MSME Policy Responses to COVID-19 in South East Asia (Indonesia)

Gendered Impacts of MSME Policy Responses to COVID-19 in South East Asia uncovers the outcomes of micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) policy responses to the pandemic in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. It draws on fieldwork conducted from July 2021 to January 2022 in each of the three countries, analysing the varied experiences of women and men in the MSME sector. It also examines how women and men have been consulted in policy design; the extent to which policy responses included gender analysis in design or application; factors influencing priorities in designing policy; the gender breakdown of beneficiaries of the policy support; the types of support measures which benefitted women the most; and the lessons or recommendations that could be drawn from these three country case studies. 

This country report focuses on men- and women-owned/led MSMEs and the COVID-19 policy responses in Indonesia. It aims to assess MSME policy responses in Indonesia and examines gender-based differences regarding the impact of the pandemic and MSMEs survival strategies.  


  • Slightly more women MSMEs suffered a sales decline and an increase in the cost of production compared to men MSME. 
  • More women MSMEs (82.3%) reported inadequate working capital than men MSMEs (80.6%) as a major obstacle, although the difference is not statistically significant. 
  • MSMEs specifically reported an issue of balancing business and domestic work for the employees compared to men MSMEs, which confirms the double burden experienced by women in their everyday life. 
  • Around 60.8% of men MSMEs changed their products and offered alternative products, while only 45.5% of women MSMEs did so, where the difference between the two genders was statistically significant. 
  • In general, women-MSMEs were slightly left behind compared to men MSMEs in terms of applying a digitization strategy for their business. On average, slightly fewer women (60.5%) had applied various digitalization strategies compared to men MSMEs (63%). 
  • Borrowing money or taking loans was the least-sought support for both women and men MSMEs, and loans from banks, informal creditors, and digital financing platforms.  
  • In terms of policy support from the government, all MSMEs reported that cash transfer was the most applied program and the most helpful 
  • In the policy formulation arena, more than half of the women-owned MSMEs (50.2%) agreed to integrate the gender components into the policy’s design, while only 36.3% of the men-owned MSMEs agreed to that view 
  • The gender of MSMEs ownership has not yet been considered in the policy formulation but rather on how active the MSMEs had been in participating in community-level or business associations. 


  • Executive Summary 
  • 1 Introduction  
    • 1.1 Background 
      • 1.1.1 COVID-19 in Indonesia and Its Impact  
      • 1.1.2 Characteristics of MSMEs in Indonesia  
    • 1.2 Objective  
    • 1.3 Methodology  
      • 1.3.1 Quantitative Data Collection  
      • 1.3.2 Qualitative Data Collection 
  • 2 Institutional Setting 
    • 2.1 Regulatory Environment 
    • 2.2 Government Program 
    • 2.3 Financing institutions 
    • 2.4 Incubator & Accelerator 
    • 2.5 Business Association 
    • 2.6 Chain Actors 
  • 3. Survey Results 
    • 3.1 Definition of Women-owned/led MSMEs 
    • 3.2 Sample and Data 
      • Sample 
      • Data  
    • 3.3 Size of the Business 
    • 3.4 Obstacles and Challenges Faced Due to the Pandemic Impact of the pandemic   
      • Obstacles 
      • Challenges 
    • 3.5 Business Survival Strategy during the Pandemic 
    • 3.6 Support from the Private and Government Sector  
      • Support from the Private Sector 
      • Support from Government Sector  
    • 3.7 Policies Needed to Support Business 
    • 3.8 Views of Management on Government Policies and COVID-19 Situation 
    • 3.9 Digitization Strategy during the COVID-19 Pandemic  
    • 3.10 Participation in Policy Response  
  • 4. Qualitative Findings  
    • 4.1 How Women and Men MSMEs Experience the COVID-19 Pandemic  
      • Our qualitative data suggest that both women and man-owned SMEs experienced similar impacts of the pandemic on their businesses. Most of business owners that we interviewed, reported that their sales and product demand decreased dramatically during government’s mobility restriction period. 4.2 Gender-based analysis in Policy Responses to support MSMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic  
    • 4.2 Gender-based analysis in Policy Responses to support MSMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic 
      • 4.2.1 Government Policies and Programs to support MSMEs during Pandemic 
      • 4.2.2 Gender-based Analysis in MSME Policy Making Process 
      • 4.2.3 Businesses Participation in the Policy-making Process  
  • 5. Conclusion and Recommendation  
    • 5.1 Conclusion  
      • Impact of COVID-19 to MSMEs  
      • Benefit from the policy responses to women-owned MSMEs  
      • Participation of women-owned MSMEs in the policy-making process  
    • 5.2 Recommendations  
  • References  

This report was originally published on the Monash University website. 

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