A project aimed at economically empowering women and enabling their financial inclusion in developing communities, by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Business School, will now receive funding support from the Australian Government. The funding agreement was facilitated by the Australia-ASEAN Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The project is being carried out by a hand-picked team, including Dr Felix Tan of UNSW Business School, with the funding being used to conduct a number of workshops in Canberra, Jakarta, and Bangkok. The workshops aim to shine a light on the role of women in technology-driven entrepreneurship, and the immense potential they possess for communities. They will particularly focus on university students and leaders of youth groups, and also create a series of frameworks and roadmaps, to enhance awareness in the country.
Dr Tan said, “The entrepreneurial potential in rural areas of ASEAN countries like Indonesia is fast growing Many small business ventures with the right training and support are using mobile phones to take their small stores online. In some areas, local governments note women account for up to 80% of new entrepreneurs.
We want to help them – particularly the young women – build their digital entrepreneurship skills. It’s not just about the economics, there are enormous social benefits too.”
Several case studies of currently existing digital programs in farming communities across ASEAN countries will be shared at the workshops. They will also discuss the impact of digital marketplaces, and the current state of women’s digital entrepreneurship initiatives and small to mid-size enterprises. These include ventures in West Java and South Sulawesi of Indonesia.
The project is named Fostering Women’s Economic Empowerment through Digital Entrepreneurship, and will receive more than $30,000 from the federal government in funding support, along with $50,000 from Universities and partners.
For the project, the UNSW Business School and its Institute for Global Development has partnered with Dr Amelia Faisal from Social Trust Fund and UIN Jakarta and Dr Peter Ratcham from Thammsat Business School in Bangkok. Through the Institute, the UNSW community works towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to create a transformational impact on lives and society.