Follow us on:

Addressing access to capital for women-owned small businesses in Indonesia through a prototype lending platform

News Stories Press Releases /26 November 2020

Jakarta, Indonesia, 26 November 2020 – Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, has partnered with BIDUK, a prototype lending platform focused on gender equity, to champion women-owned small and growing businesses (SGBs) in Indonesia.

BIDUK (Berinvestasti Dalam Usaha untuk Kemajuan or Investing in Business for Progress) seeks to narrow the gap in access to formal financing by delivering customised lending products to SGBs in Indonesia. BIDUK’s loans are designed to meet the immediate capital requirements of the businesses it serves and optimise growth opportunities through a client-centred relationship-based model.

SGBs in Indonesia, particularly those owned by women, have few assets to pledge and cash flow patterns that often make them ineligible for conventional loans and financial investments that are crucial for them to grow into healthy, steady state businesses. The BIDUK model encourages the flow of capital to more women-owned and -led businesses by utilising a lending process free from gender bias throughout its cycle—from deal sourcing to underwriting, and from loan product development to long-term client relationships.

BIDUK is currently focused on supporting businesses with a presence in Jakarta. It intends to expand its scope nationwide and potentially to similar markets in Asia or Africa.

“We are excited to partner with BIDUK to find better ways of providing growth capital for women-owned and led businesses. Moving from a transactional borrower-lender relationship towards a supportive and bias-free one can unlock more growth capital for women entrepreneurs,” said Julia Newton-Howes, CEO of Investing in Women.

Kaylene Alvarez, CEO of Athena Global, the implementing organisation for BIDUK Indonesia, said, “Now, more than ever, it’s critical that we find ways to support resilient entrepreneurs to meet their funding needs in growing sustainable businesses during uncertainty. We’re very happy to partner with Investing in Women—and to be part of their network of impact investing partners—to find specific solutions that close the financing gap for women entrepreneurs by putting the SGBs at the center of what we do, and developing products and services that meet their needs.”

BIDUK’s COVID Response

BIDUK continues to lend (maintaining a high repayment rate) and to help SGBs navigate the economic challenges that the pandemic presents.

  • Enhanced Due Diligence. With such pandemic-driven uncertainty, past business performance is not necessarily indicative of pre-COVID-19 performance. BIDUK focuses on resiliency, leadership and relationships. Without being able to physically visit clients, BIDUK has created a methodology that utilises technology and references and focuses on future potential earnings in the current situation.
  • Robust underwriting. BIDUK’s lending products are structured to respond effectively to the uncertainty of the current economic situation. Features that are emphasised include grace periods, tiered repayments and prioritisation of liquidity over solvency.
  • Capacity Building. Together with its partners, BIDUK provides expert advice to its clients in areas such as budgeting and cash flow, revenue generation and pivoting to a post-COVID future.

For more information about BIDUK, please contact Ramona Ridolfi, Program Manager at


COVID-19 Impacts to Women's Economic Empowerment

to top