In Indonesia, “micro, small, and medium enterprises” is the answer to all questions, and the justification for all tough decisions. There were many questions and tough decisions this year. And MSMEs came up a lot.

When Indonesia was pushed into a recession as a result of the global economic standstill, pundits said MSMEs are the backbone of the economy. They’ll make sure we survive the blow, just as they did after the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

Earlier this year, when Indonesia passed a contentious legal reform package, called the Omnibus Law on Job Creation, its proponents hushed critics by saying the new laws were designed to strengthen MSMEs.


Nadine Freischlad

Nadine is based in Indonesia. She covers Southeast Asia's super apps, the changing nature of work and employment, and other structural shifts happening as a result of digital disruption.

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