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Author(s): Pulse Lab Jakarta and UN Women


From our joint policy research with UN Women that looked at the gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on micro and small businesses in Indonesia, we learned that women business owners have fewer coping strategies compared to men. To keep their businesses afloat, more women are using a range of digital tools — from digital platforms and online marketplaces, to instant messaging apps and social media — to market their products and services. Whilst this trend offers promising opportunities to help women business owners cope during the pandemic, digitalization does not benefit all of them equally. Besides structural barriers such as infrastructure and network coverage, several of the barriers that prevent them from utilising digital tools are behavioural. This is the case for many women “necessity business owners” who make up the majority of Indonesian women entrepreneurs and are typically running a business out of necessity from their homes while juggling domestic responsibilities.

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