Improving Market Access and Empowering Women's Sustainable Products


Posted : December 13, 2017

(Jakarta) 13 December 2017 – In the low carbon economy framework, commodity entrepreneurship has the potential to give high economic benefits for women. It is an opportunity for women to play role in a green economy. To do so, women groups need supports such as financial backing, technology and creative industry innovation, and better marketing strategy.

Millennium Challenge Account – Indonesia (MCA-Indonesia) has been supporting women’s role in green economic development. Through grants distributed by the Green Prosperity Project, MCA-Indonesia has opened up the chance for women entrepreneurs to develop and market sustainable commodity, including by conducting the Market Development Forum today. Grantees, private sector, social entrepreneurs, investors, financial access services, and other development agencies are invited to interact with each other.

“Through this strategic forum, we aim to connect women entrepreneurs with other business organizations and actors. We hope they can build network, exchange experience, acquired innovative ideas and expand their market,” said MCA-Indonesia Senior Advisor, Syahrial Loetan.

“We believe dialogue and partnership is very important to support and market sustainable commodity. Such efforts will contribute to household economic improvement and gear up acceleration of economic growth,” Syahrial Loetan said.

Also present in the forum are Helianti Hilman, founder of Javara Indigenous Indonesia and Petty Fatimah, Editor in Chief of Femina magazine, who will share their insights on sustainable commodity marketing strategy and how to network to leverage entrepreneurship and empower women who are Indonesian local commodity farmers.

Through the event, grantees have the chance to exhibit their products, to consult with entrepreneurs and to generate cooperation. This will hopefully facilitate partnership with investors, commodity business actors and service providers (whether in form of financial service or development of knowledge, technology and innovation), which has been the main challenge for commodity-based women entrepreneurs in the region.

As conveyed by Citra Kirana of Sekar Kawung Foundation, one of MCA-Indonesia’s grantees in East Sumba, “Woven textiles produced by Paluanda Lama Hamu group in East Sumba use natural dye and need specific marketing strategy and access. Working with national designers and bringing the artisans to national exhibition is one of our strategy to place the cultural works in a dignified position.”

MCA-Indonesia through Social and Gender Integration Study in Green Prosperity Project concluded that women are backbone of production process in agricultural and forestry commodity value chain, particularly for non-timber forest products. The grantees have strived to improve participation, knowledge, access and control to increased household income through project activities on organizational skills and business management for women groups. Culture, local commodity, biodiversity and renewable energy utilization are the main themes of women’s economic activities in MCA-Indonesia projects.

“Woven rattan craft skills of Dayak Basap people is passed on from elder women to younger ones in Sumbang Berau Bay, and its products has been handicrafts that increase income in households in remote villages with no electricity. Their potentials should be improved even higher once they get electricity from renewable source,” said Nita Roshita of PT Akuo Energy Indonesia, representing Dayak Basap women rattan weavers in Renewable Energy Project location in Berau.

So far, according to accumulation of Green Prosperity Project beneficiaries, around 26,000 women has participated in various trainings, such as sustainable local commodity management as well as family and business financial management.

As mentioned by Fajhri Misrianti of KSU Karya Mandiri, one of MCA-Indonesia’s grantees in North Lombok, “We have participated in training about commodity-based business management. As a result, now our women farmers group is able to use business profit to rent idle areas for organic agriculture.”

This is an immense potential for improvement of women participation and entrepreneurship in the green economy.

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Mia Fitri, Director for Communications and Outreach,