By Nadia Sarah, Indonesia
Th e COVID-19 pandemic has brought severe impacts on women entrepreneur in Indonesia where 60% of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) were owned by women. Most of them face a challenging situation with lack of funding, lack of knowledge and experience, double or even triple role in the family, lack of network, psychological issues, and many more. These things have led to the unsustainability in their business or reluctance to start a business. By losing their economic power in a family, women become more vulnerable to inequality. Similarly, the opportunity for them to land new jobs in the pandemic is also challenging. Therefore, all the more, women should be empowered to get more opportunities to start their own business.
This is how I try to implement what I’ve learnt from the QUT-Australia Awards Transformational Leadership Short Course in 2018: empowering others, to be involved, to be of service, to coach and mentor, to guide, and to inspire.
In July 2020, I started an initiative with my partners to make a women-entrepreneur community in Indonesia, which we called Yayasan Prakarsa Perempuan Indonesia (Indonesian Women Initiatives Foundation), or better known as Shestarts.id. This was our response to the problem. Here, we encourage women who are willing to start their own business and support them as much as we can. Our experiences show that these problems can be addressed by conducting women-dedicated entrepreneurship workshops and providing them with entrepreneurial mentorship within a community.
We work closely with public and private organisations including universities. Happily, the number of our members and partners increased. Currently, more than 500 women-entrepreneurs across Indonesia have joined this initiative, and we have already trained thousands of participants in many programs.
This is how I try to implement what I’ve learnt from the QUT-Australia Awards Transformational Leadership Short Course in 2018: empowering others to be involved, to be of service, to coach and mentor, to guide, and to inspire.