Research for this report involved collecting both quantitative and qualitative data via a survey, focus group discussions (FGDs), and in-depth interviews. The survey was administered in person by a team of field researchers in April and May 2017. Survey respondents were also interviewed in depth to draw out qualitative information. A total of 335 SMEs completed the survey, 20 per cent of which are women owned. This proportion is in line with the World Bank’s estimate that 22 per cent of Indonesian SMEs are owned by women. In addition, 18 FGDs were conducted with SME owners and employees, cooperatives, and provincial government employees to enrich the quantitative data.
The results of the research show that as entrepreneurs, both women and men SME owners across all three industries face similar challenges in running their businesses and in exporting, but sometimes differ as to which they consider to be the most serious. Both women- and men-owned SMEs have difficulty finding market information, accessing affordable credit, obtaining quality inputs in a timely manner, and getting the appropriate practical and focused training, including mentoring. In addition, both women and men SME owners noted the lengthy time required to obtain the appropriate licenses and registrations. However, women-owned SMEs across all three industries tend to have more difficulty accessing the raw materials and skilled labour that they need.