Rise and move forward together: Indonesia’s digital future

In a year like no other, Indonesian entrepreneurs have shown grit and determination to keep their businesses running for the communities that rely on them. They’ve also shown great creativity in adapting new tools and technologies—like Ida, the owner of a traditional cake business in Lombok who saw business dry up when local schools were forced to close. After taking a Women Will course, Ida used Google My Business to connect with her customers, promote her range of cakes throughout Indonesia, and ultimately increase her income by 60 percent. Now she’s working with other women entrepreneurs in her community to help them make the most of technology in their own businesses.  

At today’s virtual Google for Indonesia, we celebrated this entrepreneurial spirit in adversity— and shared new initiatives to help the businesses and workers most in need. We also deepened our commitment to building a strong, inclusive digital economy for all Indonesians, reflecting the theme of this year’s event: bangkit dan maju sama-sama (rise and move forward together).  

Helping businesses and workers most in need

For many Indonesian business owners, the first priority continues to be funding their operations through the downturn, so they can rebuild. Together with Kiva and local financial service providers, we’ve created a $10 million fund to extend low-interest loans to the small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19—in particular, those from underserved communities.  

To support the fight against youth unemployment, Google.org will make a $1 million grant to Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia), helping launch a program that will provide training and job matching assistance for over 5,000 young people.

And as workers of all ages look to find work and improve their skills, we’ll continue to expand our Kormo Jobs app with roles in sectors like logistics and essential services, and add new tools to meet job-seekers’ needs. The app already provides remote work listings and the option to interview remotely. From here, we’re adding AI-enabled learning to help job-seekers practise English, and partnering with ARKADEMI &QuBisa to offer additional certified courses, including foundational IT training and advice on mastering recruitment processes. 

Preparing for a strong digital future

Technology has helped Indonesia weather COVID-19, and it will have an even bigger role in our future beyond the pandemic. The eConomy SEA 2020 report, released last week, showsIndonesians adopting new digital services faster than ever, while research from AlphaBeta finds that a digitally-skilled workforce could add more than $300 billion to Indonesia’s GDP by 2030.  

Realizing that potential means equipping more Indonesians with digital knowledge and confidence, and we’re committed to playing our part. This year, we’ve expanded and adapted our training initiatives across different areas of technology—hand in hand with the Indonesian government and our partners in business and the nonprofit sector.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 200,000 Indonesian small businesses have completed online Grow with Google skills courses, taking the total number to 1.7 million since 2015. Google Cloud has held 150,000 training labs to help Indonesians get cloud-related skills, complementing the opening of the Jakarta cloud region earlier this year. And YouTube’s Akademi Edukreator partnership with Kok Bisa has trained more than 1,000 teachers, young professionals, students and content creators to produce educational video content — with more in-depth training planned as we keep building the “educreator” community. 

Today, we also announced an expansion of Bangkit: a collaboration between the Indonesian government, Google and Indonesia’s biggest technology companies, created to encourage the next generation of technology talent. 

Already, we’re seeing graduates from the first Bangkit cohort—many of them young women—go on to jobs throughout the private sector, pursuing big ambitions for careers at the forefront of technology. Next year, up to 3,000 Bangkit students will have the chance to pursue courses across six different tracks, from machine learning and Android development to the fundamentals of cloud. 

Bangkit graduate Irfani

Irfani Sakinah, a 23-year old graduate from Makkassar, secured a job as a data scientist in Jakarta after completing the Bangkit program. 

With the energy and ideas of the next generation, and the solidarity we saw shine through at Google for Indonesia, I have no doubt that Indonesians will rise above the challenges of 2020, and move forward to a stronger future together.