Entrepreneurship as a Youth Job Creation Strategy in Indonesia: A case study from Belu District, Indonesia

20 October 2014

The Indonesian government has rolled out the National Entrepreneurship Movement, which seeks to reduce youth unemployment through a collection of training and micro-finance programs.

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This report was featured as a chapter in ‘Overcoming the Youth Employment Crisis : Strategies from Around the Globe’, a joint report co-authored by the global partners of JustJobs Network.
Entrepreneurship is sometimes presented as a panacea for curbing the global youth employment crisis, especially in the global South. The turn toward entrepreneurship is shaped, in part, by the failure of the manufacturing sector to support massive formal job creation in developing and emerging economies. In Indonesia, for instance, the informal economy still employs 60 percent of the workforce, playing a prominent role in sustaining economic growth and job creation.

This report explores how the Indonesian government and other stakeholders are promoting youth entrepreneurship to address the country’s youth employment challenges, discussing specific policies and approaches. Then, utilizing a case study from the Belu District in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province, the chapter examines how these policies translate on the ground, the type of stakeholder coordination and state capacity they require, and their effect on young people’s employment outcomes. Finally, the chapter proposes ways forward in strengthening entrepreneurship policies in Indonesia and similar contexts.