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Expanding ventures: empowering women entrepreneurs in Indonesia

How Deloitte’s WorldClass collaboration with Barry Callebaut is helping to enable economic sustainability in rural Indonesia through skills development, knowledge sharing, and mentorship.

Cocoa, one of the largest economic sectors in Indonesia, provides the main source of income for over 1,400,000 smallholder farmers1 and their families in Indonesia. Many of these agricultural households comprise women farmers who, in addition to their domestic responsibilities, are working to lift their families out of poverty while building their entrepreneurial skills and expanding their business.

As part of Deloitte’s WorldClass goal to impact 100 million lives by 2030, Deloitte and Barry Callebaut, a leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, have collaborated to create a programme that provides skill-building education for women in remote regions across Indonesia.

The initiative supports women, like Tri Kurniasih, as they work to develop their entrepreneurial talents by improving financial literacy, implementing marketing strategies, and generating sustainable income that contributes to their families and strengthens their communities for the better.

“To lead societal change, we need to start with compassion and empathy. Each problem has a solution, and this is our opportunity to uplift women and create measurable impact.”  

- Sukainah Osman, Deloitte Asia Pacific

To create opportunities for women to learn the skills needed to professionalise their microbusinesses, Deloitte Asia Pacific and Barry Callebaut have launched a 14-week course meant to support their livelihoods and create social change.

The programme, which was developed based on the needs of 30,000 cocoa farmers across the Sulawesi and Sumatra regions of Indonesia, includes modules on business clarity, creating a customer avatar, and creating profitable marketing strategies. Fifty women have already taken part in the educational programme before applying their newly gained skills to help improve how they operate their existing businesses. Now, each participant is empowered and capable of implementing strategies and tactics to promote their business while uplifting their family’s economic prospects.

“Seeing the progress and achievements each woman has made, and working together with our teams of volunteers, has been an amazing experience. Both Deloitte and Barry Callebaut are full of people who want to come forward to help others and work through challenges. It’s been truly remarkable to see how so many people are dedicated to making positive change happen.”  

- Rizky Shofarulloh, Barry Callebaut

The power of collaboration is an overarching theme throughout the programme’s modules and Deloitte’s initiative with Barry Callebaut. As part of this ongoing relationship, Deloitte is leveraging its network of people and skills to provide meaningful support to women entrepreneurs in rural Indonesia. “These women had already started to build their businesses and products before enrolling in the programme. They’re fuelled by a desire to do good and are laser-focused on taking their businesses to the next level” said Sukainah Osman. “By imparting practical entrepreneurial and marketing knowledge, skills, and resources, we’re empowering them to work through challenges and build new ways to thrive in their community.” By encouraging sustainability in the cocoa farming business through skills development and guidance, Deloitte’s WorldClass initiative is removing barriers to socioeconomic development and giving women the skills and opportunity needed to create positive change for themselves.

This momentum is possible because of Barry Callebaut’s resources and Deloitte’s network of people who volunteer their time to write and remotely teach each module while coaching them over the course of twelve weeks. Together, they’re building impactful relationships with each student and empowering women to build new skills, challenge their perspectives, and cultivate an even brighter future.


1 Hasna Wijayati; Halifa Haqqi, "The Indonesian Global Cocoa Chain’s Position In The Pandemic Era" International Journal on Social Science, Economics and Art 12, no.1, (May 2022): 10-21.