Mainstreaming gender and empowering environmentally conscious SMEs in Indonesia

Environmental and social issues remain at the core of most major business development challenges faced by SMEs in Indonesia, especially those related to waste management and mainstreaming gender. Assessing development gaps and priorities enables UNIDO to formulate demand-driven upgrading plans in alignment with SDGs, which paves the way towards job creation, inclusivity and, ultimately, socio-economic sustainability.

Seeking to support the local entrepreneurial community, most notably, women and youth, by strengthening productivity, competitiveness and market access of their businesses, UNIDO provides technical assistance to SMEs active in textile, jewelry, aquaculture, and agri-food sectors, as part of the UN Joint Programme “Accelerating SDGs Investment in Indonesia” (ASSIST).

In its assessment of business models currently in place, UNIDO focused on their contribution to the development of sustainable communities and safeguarding the environment in Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara. According to the findings, textile producing SMEs are commonly women-led businesses contributing to family well-being and financial stability of households, which highlights the vital role of women in supporting the local community and fostering rural entrepreneurship. Likewise, youth-led SMEs play pivotal role in accelerating the adoption of sustainable production practices, as they have successfully tested circular production models for pearl jewelry. These models demonstrate high international marketability potential without compromising design and product quality. Equipped with tailored upgrading plans and joint visibility strategies, including umbrella branding, provided by the project, beneficiary SME form clusters, modernize and improve productivity, improving their access to global value chains and financing opportunities.

For further information contact Farrukh Alimdjanov (F.Alimdjanov [at] (F).Alimdjanov [at]