Levelling up Indonesian SMEs through sustainability training

Mar 11, 2024

Levelling up Indonesian SMEs through sustainability training

Mar 11, 2024

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) play a crucial role in the Indonesian economy, yet they face significant challenges in accessing global markets. This can be attributed to various factors, including a lack of awareness of trade agreements, the complexities of qualifying for preferential tariffs, and, increasingly, the challenge of meeting ever-evolving global sustainability standards.

Bridging the gap: a collaborative effort for sustainability

To address these challenges, funded by Global Affairs Canada, the Expert Deployment Mechanism for Trade and Development (EDM) commissioned Globally Cool to collaborate in organizing a comprehensive training event. This collaborative effort included a 2-day train-the-trainer event held in Bandung, Indonesia, on February 28th and 29th, 2024. This intensive program brought together representatives from the Business & Export Development Organization of Indonesia (BEDO), Parahyangan University (UNPAR) and the Indonesian Ministry of Trade, along with other Business Support Organizations (BSOs).

Building capacity, equipping trainers

The training focused on equipping BSOs with the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver sustainability reporting training events tailored specifically to the needs of Indonesian SMEs. This involved:

  • Refining existing training tools: Building upon the foundation laid by BEDO and UNPAR, Globally Cool experts helped further refine existing training tools to better address the unique challenges faced by Indonesian SMEs regarding sustainability standards.
  • Equipping BSO trainers: The program equipped BSO representatives with the necessary knowledge and expertise to effectively deliver sustainability reporting training to small businesses. This included a comprehensive understanding of relevant standards, compliance procedures, and resources tailored to the Indonesian context

Training of Trainers on sustainability for SMEs

A multi-faceted approach to sustainability empowerment

This training event represents just one piece of a comprehensive program designed to empower Indonesian SMEs in the realm of sustainability:

  • Pre-training assessment: The program began with an assessment of existing sustainability reporting training tools developed by BEDO and UNPAR. This assessment helped identify areas for improvement and ensure the training materials remained relevant and practical for small businesses.
  • Raising awareness: Following the assessment, a webinar on sustainability standards was held for a broader audience, including representatives from BSOs, universities, trade associations, government officials, and even small businesses. This webinar aimed to raise general awareness of the importance of sustainability standards in accessing foreign markets, with a specific focus on Canada, the EU, and the US.
  • Knowledge exchange: To further enrich the training modules, Globally Cool facilitated a virtual roundtable where 6 Canadian SMEs and Trade Organizations shared their experiences, challenges, and best practices with participating BSO trainers, BEDO, and UNPAR representatives. This exchange of knowledge provided valuable insights and practical tips for Indonesian SMEs navigating the world of sustainability standards.

Outcomes and next steps

The training of trainers equipped 26 participants with enhanced knowledge and skills in sustainability reporting. Moving forward, BEDO and UNPAR trainers will lead pilot training sessions for small businesses in Bali and Bandung, mentored by Globally Cool experts. These pilot sessions will offer valuable real-world experience and allow for further refinement of the training program before wider implementation.

In addition, we will create e-learning material that can be used for future training purposes. Especially in a country like Indonesia with so many islands and large distances, self-paced e-learning offers substantial benefits, allowing a bigger audience of MSMEs to benefit from the training. The contents of the e-learning modules will be based on the subjects of the webinar and the classroom training course. The self-paced e-learning course will consist of the following modules:

  1. Why are international sustainability standards important
  2. Which international sustainability standards prevail
  3. How to prepare for such standards
  4. What are the reporting requirements
  5. How to effectively use the reporting templates and monitor progress on objectives, measures and KPIs

The collaborative efforts between EDM, BEDO, UNPAR, and Globally Cool represent a significant step towards empowering Indonesian SMEs/MSMEs in navigating global markets through sustainability reporting. By bridging knowledge gaps and fostering partnerships, this initiative aims to catalyze sustainable growth and enhance the competitiveness of Indonesian businesses on the international stage.


Through continued support and engagement, these initiatives hold the promise of fostering economic development and sustainability in Indonesia’s vibrant small business sector.

Stay tuned for updates on the progress of this impactful initiative!


Experience in and with emerging markets

Since 1995, Globally Cool has trained and coached thousands of professionals, in over 45 emerging markets. Want to know more about what Globally Cool can do for you? Check out our services and join us!