Gender and Trade Survey

This report examines the status of women-owned vis-à-vis men-owned SMEs in the Indonesian coffee, footwear, and apparel industries and the gender-based barriers to effective engagement in trade, particularly business and export-related decision-making and access to resources. It provides recommendations for governments, business and industry associations, and coffee cooperatives to ensure that women-owned SMEs,1 as well as those owned by men, are positioned to capitalize on opportunities opened by international trade and operate more effectively in the domestic market. There are economic and social costs when women lack equal access to growth opportunities offered by domestic and international trade. These costs affect women directly, but also have indirect effects on
families, communities, and the country as a whole.

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.

Find out more

  • Year


  • Activity

    MSMEs, Gender, Mixed methods

  • Location

    Bener Meriah, Aceh Tengah, Enrekang, Makassar, Tana Toraja, Bandung, Bogor, Jakarta, Tangerang, Pekalongan, Pemalang, Semarang, Solo, Tangerang

  • Coordinator

    Supervisors: Isono Sadoko, Titik Hartini.

  • Researchers

    Team leader: Herlinawati;
    Vice team leader: Fadli Ilhami;
    Data Control: Istiqomah Nurfitri, Aprilia Ambarwati, Charina Chazali, Muklas Aji Setiawan;
    Field Team Leaders: Muklas Aji Setiawan, Mulyana, Rizky Ersa Heryana, Radi Ihlas Albani, Ricky Ardian Harahap. Researchers: Bewanti Dahani Silitonga, Dany Hadiana, Anindita Dyah Puspita Rani, Hendra Saut Sirait, Pungky Desi Christanti, Astri Briliyanti, Fadila Adibaningtyas, Heppi Hestiana, Antonius Nur Hadi Kusno, Widya Garnieta
    Reviewers: Nurul Widyaningrum, Professor Ben White