U.S. Private Sector Holds Capacity Building Workshops for Harnessing Digital Tools to Enhance Indonesian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’ Competitiveness in Innovation

(Serpong, Indonesia) – On October 3, the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) held its second Innovation for SME Workshop in Indonesia. More than 100 Indonesian SME owners and executives, tech entrepreneurs, local government officials and academics from South Tangerang and neighboring cities participated in a half-day workshop titled, “Innovation without Limits: Advancing Indonesian Entrepreneurs’ Competitiveness.”

The US-ABC conducted the workshop in-collaboration with the Center for Research Science and Technology (PUSPIPTEK), a unit under the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education.

The workshop was held in conjunction with PUSPIPTEK Innovation Festival Indonesia 2019, which aims to improve Indonesia’s national competitiveness in innovation and promote a society inclusive of research and technology.

The event was officially opened by the Secretary General of Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Prof. Ainun Na’im, Ph.D, M.B.A and US-ABC Chief Country Representative for Indonesia, Dr. Landry Subianto.

“Today’s workshop demonstrates US-ABC’s concrete support to the Government of Indonesia’s priorities of human capital development, and public-private partnerships to enhance SMEs’ competitiveness specially enhancing human capacities,” said Dr. Subianto.

“Public-private partnership is one of the keys to solving current economic challenges. The private sector is able to connect the outcome of the science and technology being utilized by society,” said Prof. Ainun Na’im, “for example, it can be shown through start-ups and Indonesian SMEs which have great contributions to the Indonesian economy and the increasing of employment rate.”  

The Deputy for Human Resource Development in the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises, Rully Nuryanto, S.E, M.Si delivered a keynote speech to the participants at the opening of the workshop.

“Innovation and competitiveness are two interrelated things. Innovation may help the improvement of product competitiveness. Meanwhile, product competitiveness may increase if it is innovative and meets the market needs. In adapting the rapid development of information and technology, SMEs are required to be able to innovate at any time. The government will always continue to support through various policy programs to improve the competitiveness of SMEs.”

The workshop demonstrated U.S. private sector commitment to supporting the Indonesian Government on promoting greater economic inclusivity and utilization of digital tools to participants. During the workshop, Cisco presented the Asia Pacific Digital Maturity Index and emphasized the importance of understanding data privacy and cybersecurity for small businesses.

US-ABC members PT HM Sampoerna Tbk. (Sampoerna) and Facebook also worked with SME participants. Sampoerna showcased the Sampoerna Retail Community Program. Presenters highlighted success stories of retail businesses harnessing digital innovations to scale-up their operations. Facebook shared expertise in digital marketing and creative content for SMEs and tech entrepreneurs to develop their businesses and expand customer bases.

The October 3 workshop is part of US-ABC’s SME Capacity Building program. In 2011, US-ABC established a training program for ASEAN SMEs, responding to a request by the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) for support for ASEAN SMEs in leveraging technology and the intra-global consumer and supply base.

Since 2011, US-ABC has conducted more than 48 SME Workshops across ASEAN. More than 6,800 SMEs in all ten ASEAN countries have benefited from US-ABC’s SME Capacity Building programs. In Indonesia alone, the Council has conducted five workshops since 2011, three times in Jakarta, once in Surabaya and once in Bali.

US-ABC’s SME Capacity Building program is also online. In 2016, the Council launched the online ASEAN SME Academy (www.asean-sme.academy.org), a self-help and self-paced online learning platform for SMEs, offering free courses and resources from the Council’s member companies. The Academy is co-administered with The Philippines Department of Trade and Industry and Philippine Trade and Training Center on behalf of the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME).   

On October 3, 2019, the Council was conducted a half-day SME workshop titled “Innovation without Limits: Advancing Indonesian Entrepreneurs’ Competitiveness” in collaboration with the Center for Research Science and Technology (PUSPIPTEK), a unit under the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education.

More than 100 SMEs and entrepreneurs participated in the SME Workshop, titled “Innovation without Limits: Advancing Indonesian Entrepreneurs’ Competitiveness” on October 3, 2019. Participants joined Prof. Ainun Na’im (Secretary General of Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education), Rully Nuryanto (Deputy for Human Resource Development, Ministry of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises), Dr. Ir. Sri Setiawati (Head of the Center for Research Science and Technology), and Dr. Landry Subianto (Chief Country Representative Indonesia, US-ASEAN Business Council) for a photo. 

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For 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.