Credit: Ministry of Communications and Informatics

Credit: Ministry of Communications and Informatics

ICT volunteers in Indonesia help MSMEs increase market audience through online access

An announcement by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics (KOMINFO) highlighted the assistance provided by ICT volunteers in helping MSMEs get online access to increase their market audience.

In Indonesia, the period with the highest purchase transaction and considered to be the peak period of consumption within the year, is Ramadan, or the fasting month.

KOMINFO would like to optimise this period by helping the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) get online market access. To give them the opportunity to sell online, the KOMINFO tapped on the ICT volunteers to help.

Together with the Ministry of Cooperatives and SME as well as six marketplaces in Indonesia, the KOMINFO hosted an event called, “Ramadan Express Ayo UMKM Online Sales!”

"The Ramadan Express supported the micro and small traders who have not been given access to the online market," Special Staff Minister of Communications and Informatics Affairs PMO and Digital Economy Lis Sutjiati said.

According to Ms Lis Sutjiati, Indonesia has many MSMEs that became pillars of the national economy. "Up to now, we have 59 million MSMEs. 99% of which are micro. UMKM is the backbone of Indonesian economy. So far they contribute 58% to 60% of the GDP in Indonesia,” she explained.

MSMEs needed to be facilitated so that they can sell online. "Most of the micro enterprises cannot help themselves because they are confused with how to go digital. We pick up the ball and show them that opening an online store is easy, fast and free. This movement can be called as the Ramadan for the Micro level,” she furthered.

Ms Lis Sutjiati added that efforts to help MSMEs go online is mandatory and not an option because shopping are mostly done through online transactions and if they are not assisted into going online, they will lose possible customers.

Director of Information Industry Empowerment Directorate General of Informatics Applications Ministry of Communications and Informatics Septriana Tangkary stated, "We have great ICT volunteers and friends from SMK. This vocational school has an entrepreneurship department which taught them how to work together and reach a solution in order to produce something,” she said.

Ms Septriana Tangkary added that with the assistance they are getting, the process of going online will be faster. "They are helping MSMEs that have good products but do not have the knowledge to go online. The guidance of both the ICT Volunteers and SMK greatly accelerated the existing process of doing so,” she explained.

It is expected that Ramadan Express activities will be able to increase the number of MSMEs that can go online.  There are more than 8 million registered MSMEs coming from different marketplaces, with 4.6 million being assisted now. It is targeted that all 8 million will be online by the year 2020.  

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