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Jakarta Post

E-commerce creates entrepreneurs, expands markets in crisis

  • Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 16 2020   /  01:00 am
(Clockwise, from upper left) The Jakarta Post managing editor Evi Mariani, Tokopedia founder and CEO William Tanuwijaya, special staff to Cooperatives and SME Minister Riza Damanik, The Jakarta Post journalist Apriza Pinandita, Dewa Collection Bali owner Dewanti Amalia Artasari pose during the Post's webinar series Jakpost Up Close titled Expanding market access for SMEs throughout Indonesia on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.(JP/est)

Many Indonesians are trying to be entrepreneurs to keep making money via e-commerce platforms amid the economic downturn caused by the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic. Unequal internet access and digital literacy, however, will be major roadblocks to progress, experts say. E-commerce unicorn Tokopedia, which was one of Indonesia’s start-ups with a valuation of over US$1 billion, reported Wednesday it had around 8.3 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on its platform today, and most of them were first-time entrepreneurs.

“Their first business started with Tokopedia,” William Tanuwijaya said during The Jakarta Post’s webinar “Expanding market access for SMEs throughout Indonesia” on Wednesday.

“With a digital platform like Tokopedia, we can expect that more and more SMEs will rise and, with lots of entrepreneurs...